Chinese ultrasound venture revives

April 24, 1991

An ultrasound joint venture between Shanghai Medical ElectronicsInstrument Factory (SMEIF) and Ausonics of Sidney was revitalizedlate last year when the Chinese government granted approval forlocal assembly and sales. The venture was almost aborted two

An ultrasound joint venture between Shanghai Medical ElectronicsInstrument Factory (SMEIF) and Ausonics of Sidney was revitalizedlate last year when the Chinese government granted approval forlocal assembly and sales.

The venture was almost aborted two years ago by political tensionsand pressure from Chinese ultrasound vendors, said Kerrie Tarrant,Ausonics international marketing manager.

SMEIF staff is being trained in Shanghai and Australia forassembly of the Ausonics MI2000 scanner and probes in Shanghai,she said.

The two companies have skipped the planned first stage of cooperation,which called for importing complete scanners and providing clinicaltraining in China. Instead, they are initiating local assembly,technology transfer and marketing of systems. This process willcontinue through 1991, Tarrant said.

The Australian government is providing low-interest exportfinancing to the Chinese, which has helped Ausonics bypass limitationson foreign exchange availability. All of the ultrasound systemswill be sold in China, initially for women's health/family planningpurposes, Tarrant said.

The next stage of the venture should involve a broader rangeof clinical applications, both in terms of ultrasound technologytransfer and scanner marketing efforts, she said.