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  • 澳大利亚金融评论:诺尔康公司董事长访谈录
    时间:2013-04-28  阅读:4625次  作者:admin

     

    澳大利亚金融评论:诺尔康公司董事长访谈录

    中国人强势进入顶尖高科技产品制造,中国制造不再是廉价商品的代名词!

     

    摘要

    随着诺尔康人工耳蜗的不断成长,中国自主品牌的高性能低价位人工耳蜗在市场上逐渐上升的地位越来越受到社会各界尤其是媒体的关注。如今诺尔康人工耳蜗不仅在中国备受瞩目,更是进入了国际媒体的视野。澳大利亚金融评论于上周对诺尔康及其人工耳蜗进行了报道。通过对诺尔康董事长的采访,详细报道了诺尔康人工耳蜗的创始理念、公司现状与计划、市场情况以及政府扶持等方面,并对比科利耳人工耳蜗价格,指出诺尔康在中国市场正在打破进口耳蜗的垄断。

      

    全文翻译

    澳大利亚金融评论4月18日头版

    记者:丽萨·莫瑞(Lisa Murray)凯莉·拉法伦茨(Carrie Lafrenz)

    编译:李耀

     

    http://www.afr.com/p/business/companies/chairman_li_strategy_to_break_cochlear_WrIOPfuGw5Yc2WexoBO7RK

     

    Chairman Li’s strategy to break Cochlear’s hold

    李董事长对澳洲耳蜗公司垄断格局的突破战略

     

    At the end of an overgrown pathway, among a group of nondescript office buildings in the Chinese city of Hangzhou sits the headquarters of bionic ear maker Nurotron Biotechnology.There is no big sign on the door, no reception area and no boardroom. The company’s chairman, in jeans and an open- necked shirt, stands at the top of a steep stairwell offering Chinese tea in a paper cup.But in China appearances can be deceiving. Nurotron’s modest digs are in stark contrast to Li Fangping’s grand plans.

     

    通过充满野趣的小径,在貌似相近的办公楼群之中,坐落着中国人工耳蜗的生产基地-诺尔康神经电子科技有限公司。没有巨大的标志,没有专门的接待处,没有大会议室,董事长李方平先生穿着简单的牛仔裤和开领衫,站在楼梯尽头接待我们,并用纸杯泡的龙井茶招呼我们。不过,千万别被眼前的景象所迷惑,这正是诺尔康低调的办公环境与李方平董事长宏伟的目标形成的强烈反差。

     

    This is the company which is looking to take on one of Australia' s biggest corporate success stories. It is aiming to break Cochleare stranglehold over the fast-growing Chinese market. In the next four years it plans to build a new factory, 10 times the size of its existing one, grow its staff numbers from 250 to 2000 and list on the Shanghai or Shenzhen sharemarket.Most concerning for the Sydney-based Cochlear, which has a 70 per cent market share in China, Li says the company is just months away from winning a key government approval to fit young children with its devices. That would allow it to compete for lucrative government contracts, providing cochlear implants to children under the age of six.“The big foreign players have dominated the market for the past 20 years,” Li says. “We want to break the stranglehold they have over the market.”

     

    这是一家正在与澳洲最成功的企业展开竞争的公司。他们的目标是打破澳洲耳蜗公司在高速增长的中国市场中的垄断局面。在接下来的四年中,他们计划新建一座十倍于目前规模的生产基地,员工规模达到2000人,并在沪深股市挂牌上市。当谈到占有中国市场近70%份额的澳洲耳蜗公司时,李方平董事长透露,诺尔康公司有望在近期通过一项重要的政府审批,可向六岁及以下听障儿童植入诺尔康生产的人工耳蜗。如果审批通过,诺尔康就能在接下来的政府招标中参与竞标。“在过去的20年间,进口耳蜗一直占领着这块市场”李方平董事长说到,“我们希望能改变这种垄断局面。”

     

    THE ‘PRICE KILLER’价格杀手

     

    The local media have dubbed Nurotron the “price killed, as its devices currently sell for 78,000 yuan ($12,000), around half the price of those being sold by the big foreign players, including Cochlear.Li, one of the company’s co-founders, says he is “80 per cent” sure the company will be in a position to compete for a lucrative government tender in August. The Chinese government has a five-year program to provide underprivileged children with cochlear implants and tenders are held twice a year, in April and August. So far, Cochlear is the main supplier with a contract to provide just over 2800 devices worth roughly $36 million. Its major competitor Advanced Bionics also won a contract to provide more than 1200 devices.

     

    当地媒体称诺尔康为“价格杀手”,因为诺尔康一套耳蜗设备目前的销售价格为人民币7.8万(约合美元1.2万),大约是国外厂商(包括澳洲耳蜗公司)同类产品价格的一半。作为企业创办人之一的李方平董事长表示他有80%的把握能参加八月的政府招标。中国政府对听障儿童有5年的人工耳蜗计划项目,招标每年举行两次,分别在四月和八月。到目前为止,澳洲耳蜗公司是该项目的主要供应商,去年提供超过2800套耳蜗植入体设备,总价值3600万美元。其竞争者美国AB公司提供另外约1200套植入体。

     

    These Chinese contracts are not game-changers for Cochlear - whose total revenue in 2011-12 was $779 million - but China's massive population represents a key growth market for the Sydney company.Up until now Nurotron, which was set up in 2006 after reaching an agreement to use research from the University of California, has been unable to compete. However, Li told The Australian Financial Review that he expects the company will soon be granted approval to provide devices to young patients.“The application was submitted in October 2012 and we think it is very likely to be approved this year,” Li claims, “there is an 80 per cent chance the company will be able to compete for the next government tender in August.”

     

    澳洲耳蜗公司2011-2012年总收入7.79亿美元,中国的政府招标显然无足轻重,但是中国庞大的市场呈现出巨大增长潜力是这家企业所不能忽视的。诺尔康于2006年成立,核心技术来自于美国加州大学,然而到目前为止,他们仍不具备足够的竞争实力。不过李方平董事长对澳洲金融评论杂志提到,诺尔康很快会被授予销售许可用于低龄听障者,将人工耳蜗技术造福于听障幼童。“我们在2012年10月份提交该项申请,今年获批的可能性很大”,李方平董事长说到,“诺尔康有80%的可能性参加2013年八月的政府招投标项目。”

     

    COCHLEAR DOWNPLAYS COMPETITIVE THREATS

    澳洲耳蜗公司轻视竞争威胁

     

    Earlier this month, Cochlear chief executive Chris Roberts played down the threat of increasing competition in the $US1 billion cochlear implant market. He argued that new products and untapped adult customers would underpin future growth.The competitive threat in China follows a costly product recall for Cochlear more than a year ago. Cochlear shares have tumbled about 22 per cent after hitting a 12-month high of $82.87 in late January. The stock on Wednesday ended 19 cents lower at $59.81 per share.Nurotron has already received plenty of support from the central and provincial governments. After completing clinical trials at the end of 2010, it took less than a year for the company to secure approval for use of its devices in patients aged six and older. It has also received public funding of between 20 and 30 million yuan since 2009,according to Li, and been given subsidised land for its new factory, which will open in 2015.

     

    本月初,面对目前高达10亿美元的人工耳蜗市场不断加剧的竞争威胁,澳洲耳蜗首席执行官克里斯·罗伯茨并没有表现出足够的重视。他认为公司的新产品以及尚未开发的成人用户将支撑主导未来市场规模的增长。澳洲耳蜗在经历了前年高昂的召回赔偿事件后,正面临来自中国更大的竞争威胁。受此影响,澳洲耳蜗公司的股票市值在今年1月达到12个月以来的新高,每股82.87美元之后回落了22%,本周三收盘跌幅19美分,收盘时报价每股59.81美元。与此同时,诺尔康获得了包括中国政府以及浙江省政府的大力支持。在2010年完成临床试验之后,诺尔康在一年不到的时间通过了六岁及以上患者的植入产品许可审批。根据李方平董事长提供的信息,从2009年起,诺尔康得到了近3000万元人民币的政府扶助资金,此外政府也提供了相应补助用于诺尔康公司扩大产值。

     

    Citigroup analyst Alex Smith says any approval gained by Nurotron for paediatrics in China will make the market more competitive and Cochlear may be forced to lower its prices to compete.“You will have four players competing for tenders [where] previously [you] had three,” he says. “Nurotron have the ability to price cheaply to gain traction in the market.”“We do think Nurotron is a legitimate threat to the China market for Cochlear and it will gain share and continue to put pressure on pricing. China is an important market for Cochlear and its future growth. It will be difficult for Cochlear to maintain its current market share with a fourth player.”

     

    花旗集团分析师阿列克斯·斯密斯指出,当诺尔康通过儿童用人工耳蜗的许可时,必将加剧目前市场的竞争,从而迫使澳洲耳蜗降低其售价与之抗衡。“现在你们将会看到四家企业竞标,而不是之前的三家,”阿列克斯谈到,“诺尔康有能力通过价格来获取市场份额”。阿列克斯同时指出:“在中国市场,诺尔康对澳洲耳蜗将一直形成威胁,在不断增加市场份额的情况下对其价格施压。中国市场是澳洲耳蜗未来重要的增长点,但随着第四位竞争者的出现,保持目前的市场份额将困难重重。”

     

    In China there are three elements to the market: the government tender, the private market and the donation market. Prices for implants sold into those markets vary with the government tender the lowest priced, and the private market the highest.Dr Smith says the mere presence of Nurotron in the background in recent years has driven price reductions in the government tenders.

     

    在中国,医疗器械市场由三个主要元素组成:政府招标、零售市场以及慈善捐助。对于人工耳蜗市场而言售价高低有别,政府招标最低,零售市场最高。他最后提到由于诺尔康的出现,仅仅几年就大幅降低了政府招标的价格。

     

    NUROTRON GARNERS CHINESE GOVERNMENT SUPPORT

    诺尔康获得政府的支持

     

    During the interview, Li showed The Financial Review a copy of a provincial government newsletter which included an item about Nurotror’s development.Scrawled down one side of the page was a written instruction from the Zhejiang Communist Party secretary, who wrote: “we must support enterprises like this.”Endorsements such as these can make or break a company in China.It’s not surprising Nurotron is being singled out for special attention.

     

    在接受采访时,李方平董事长给记者展示了一份浙江省政府的发文,在其中一页与诺尔康发展相关的文件中,浙江省委书记批复:“我们必须支持这样的企业。”在中国,这样的指示可以直接决定一家企业的兴衰成败,而诺尔康得到这样的特殊关注并不让人意外。

     

     

    Nurotron’s emergence in the bionic ear market coincides with a government push to transform the country’s manufacturing sector into one focused on higher end, innovative products, rather than low-end goods such as cigarette lighters and T-shirts. It also comes as the government is rolling out an ambitious plan to provide 90 per cent of deaf children with hearing implants.Nurotron is “like a panda to China” and the government wouldn’t allow the big global players to take over or buy into the company, Li says.

     

    诺尔康进军人工耳蜗市场的时机,恰好与中国政府推动制造产业链由低端(打火机、T恤)向高端创新产业转型的政策趋势相一致。更重要的是,政府正在推行以人工耳蜗帮助全国90%失聪儿童的宏伟计划。李董事长说到:“诺尔康就如同中国的大熊猫,政府是不会允许大型跨国企业兼并或参股诺尔康的。”

     

    In 2010, the government provided funding for 500 implants. That grew to 1500 in 2011 and 4000 last year.“We want to help the Chinese government bring down the cost of that program,” he says.Li, a former real estate developer, first considered investing in the bionic ear industry in 2005 after meeting with ZengFangang, a Chinese scientist and the director of the University of California’s Centre for Hearing Research.

     

    这项计划开始于2010年,同年政府投入了500套耳蜗设备的资金,到2011年增长到1500套,而去年则投入了4000套的资金资助。李董事长谈到:“我们希望帮助中国政府来降低该项计划的支出。”李董事长过去一直从事房地产开发,在2005年开始投资人工耳蜗产业,缘起正是时任美国加州大学听力研究中心主任的华人科学家曾凡刚博士。

     

    “At first, the university was very reluctant,” Li says. “They couldn’t understand why a property developer was interested in investing in this technology.”After some tough negotiations, he reached an agreement with the university to license its research, pulled together a group of investors and set up the company. At the time, he was living in Canada, where his family still resides. But Li says he spends most of his time in Hangzhou now.“We think there is a huge market for our product,” he says. “In China, 27 million people are hearing impaired. And every year about 30,000 babies are born with hearing problems.”

     

    “起初,加州大学还有些顾虑”,李董事长说道,“他们很难理解为什么一个房地产开发商会对投资人工耳蜗感兴趣”。经过艰难的谈判,李董事长与校方达成协议得到授权,在汇聚了几位投资合伙人后创办了诺尔康公司。那时,李董事长一家人还居住在加拿大,然而现在的他,大部分的时间都放到了杭州。“在中国,听损患者将近2700万,并且每年大约有3万个新生儿面临听力障碍”,李董事长表示“我们相信诺尔康的产品将拥有巨大的市场。”

     

    INFANCY STAGE BUT AGGRESSIVE GROWTH PLANS

    培育阶段进取未来

     

    In China young children make up 90 per cent of the cochlear implant market. However, Zeng, who first came up with the idea of developing a more affordable cochlear implant, co-founded Nurotron and is now its head of development, says there is a real opportunity in providing implants to hearing-impaired adults. In developed countries, adults make up half the market.“The adult market needs to be developed,” Zeng says.Zeng claims Nurotron’s technology is “just as good if not better1’ than that of the big global players. However, he says the company has a long way to go before it can "really compete” with the likes of Cochlear.“We have to transform Nurotron from an R&D company to a marketing and operational company,” he says. “A year and a half ago, we didn’t have a sales team and we need to scale up our manufacturing and improve distribution.”Nurotron expects to produce 1000 devices this year. Next year, it aims to double or triple that number. But the work is labor intensive. Nurotron currently has 80 operators, which produce just five devices a day, according to Li. He is hoping to ramp that up significantly once the new factory is up and running in 2015.

     

    在中国,儿童患者约占人工耳蜗90%的市场。然而,曾凡刚博士则指出,成人用人工耳蜗同样不容忽视,因为在发展中国家,成人患者占有超过半数市场份额。现任研发部主任的曾凡刚博士是诺尔康公司创始人之一,正是他最早提出低成本植入体设计。曾博士说到:“不过成人耳蜗市场需要进一步的开发,目前,虽然诺尔康的技术和国外同类产品不相上下,但是要与澳洲耳蜗公司真正竞争还有相当长的一段路。”曾博士还指出,“我们必须将诺尔康从一家研发公司转变成市场化运营公司。一年半之前,我们甚至没有一个销售团队,而现在我们扩张生产线同时还要改善渠道。”诺尔康期望今年能生产1000台设备, 明年的生产计划将双倍或三倍于此。作为劳动密集型产业,诺尔康80名生产人员每天的产量仅为5台,李董事长希望到2015年建成的新生产线可以将产量显著提升。

     

    Dr Smith says while labour costs for Nurotron would be lower than for Cochlear, the Australian company has much larger volumes flowing through its manufacturing facilities giving it scale efficiency benefits. It is not clear therefore that Nurotron has a lower cost-to-manufacture than Cochlear.“The issue for Cochlear is more to do with increased competition," he says. “The China tenders has already achieved prices around half that of the US.”Dr Smith adds Nurotron’s growth plan appears aggressive. He says longer term, Nurotron may enter other markets, however, he doesn’t think it will be in the US - the world’s largest healthcare market -any time soon.

     

    花旗分析员史密斯博士表示,尽管诺尔康的人工支出比澳洲耳蜗更低,但澳洲公司拥有产量优势带来的规模效益,因此并不能确定诺尔康的实际生产成本是否低于澳洲耳蜗。同时他指出:“澳洲耳蜗面临的问题是更加激烈的竞争,因为中国招标的价格已跌至美国价格的一半。诺尔康的发展计划显得非常积极,从长远发展来看,诺尔康将进入其他市场,但是在短时间内很难进入世界最大的美国市场。”

     

    While Li says Nurotron was mapping out plans to apply to US Food and Drug Administration, he wouldn’t give any timing.For now Nurotron remains focused on China. It is training doctors to perform the implant operation. In 1995, only four doctors in China could do that operation but that should grow to 200 by 2020, according to Li.“We are not in a hurry to get an investment return. This is a long-term investment,” he says. “If my product can be as effective as my competitors, why would the government want to buy those foreign products? It doesn’t make sense.”

     

    李董事长也谈到准备申请美国食品药品监督管理局的生产许可,但并未给出具体时间。目前看来,诺尔康仍将专注于中国市场,重点培训人工耳蜗植入手术的医生。李董事长提到,1995年中国仅有5名医生具备植入手术资格,希望到2020年这可以达到200到220人。李董事长最后表示:“我们并不急于得到投资回报,因为这是一个长期的项目。如果我的产品可以和我们的竞争对手分庭抗礼,为什么政府还会选择购买进口产品呢?对我来说这不合常理。”

     

     

     

    背景介绍

     

    澳大利亚《金融评论》(The Australian Financial Review)是澳大利亚发行量最大的财经类日报。该报刊面向的读者为澳洲工商界人士和政府官员,在澳大利亚具有很高的社会声誉及强大的社会影响力。同名的澳大利亚《金融评论》月刊也是澳洲工商界精英人士最为推崇的杂志。

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