Business / Companies

Thermo Fisher sees silver lining amid growing haze

By Wang Wen (China Daily) Updated: 2015-12-23 09:34

Laboratory equipment maker Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc is betting big on China's efforts to reduce pollution through industrial restructuring and sees a host of opportunities coming its way, a top official said.

The United States-based company is riding the cusp of success in the country with its PM2.5 analyzer enjoying record sales, said Gianluca Pettiti, president of Thermo Fisher Scientific China.

The frequent haze and fog in many Chinese cities has triggered demand for the PM2.5 analyzer, which measures the level of particulate matter, or micro pollutants, in the air.

"It is important to measure and analyze the PM2.5 level as it helps the authorities and the government to understand the source of pollution," he said.

"We are bullish on China as in the past three years, there have been more regulations here to control pollution than anywhere."

Apart from the PM2.5 analyzer, the company is also seeing robust demand for its biotechnology products, such as the continual emission monitoring system.

According to Pettiti, Thermo Fisher will keep working on better and more sensitive technologies to help reduce air pollution in China.

Smog and pollution have been hot topics of discussion as several cities are facing bad air quality problems.

Ma Jun, chief economist of the People's Bank of China research bureau, said steps to cut the growth in vehicles and a higher coal tax will hep bring down pollution.

Bai Chongen, deputy dean of Tsinghua University's School of Economics and Management, however, believes that the problem can be addressed only if the government takes quick steps to shut down "zombie companies", firms that need constant bailouts for survival.

Thermo Fisher reported double-digit growth during the first three quarter of this year, said Pettiti, without revealing the exact revenue numbers.

"China is our second-largest market after North America and we achieved revenue of about $1.2 billion from the country last year," he said.

Besides generic testing and precision laboratory equipment, other products of Thermo Fisher Scientific have also gained acceptance in China.

Thermo Fisher is also conducting research on some China-specific products at its China Innovation Center in Shanghai, which has about 100 scientists working on R&D-related activities.

Shares in the New York Stocks Exchanged-listed company reached $137.55 on Monday, up 2.26 percent.

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