Bayer and China

Advancing digital transformation through collaboration

A blurry image of a crowded street in tokyo.

China is a key focus of Bayer’s partnering efforts and we are continuously looking for partners developing digital technologies.

The COVID-19 crisis has punctuated the need for ‘digitalized-everything’. In these precarious yet promising times, expanding our footprint in China to solve complex problems through the fusion of science and technology is a strategic imperative for our company.


Dating back to Aspirin production in the 1930s, we have been immersed in China’s dynamic healthcare environment and the rapid progress in recent years has helped us adapt quickly and stay ahead of change. Sweeping reforms aimed at increasing innovation and agility have placed a top-down priority on using artificial intelligence, smart devices, social-networking tools, and digital applications to personalize medicine, enable remote patient care, and streamline workflows. National strategies like “Healthy China 2030” have been a solution to drug-approval gridlock and made the country a hive of R&D activity. Bayer is proud to be recognized as having two of the 10 best drug launches in China in the last decade, to rank third in business growth among all multinational companies, and to have a thriving Innovation Center in Beijing and fruitful collaborations with prestigious research institutes such as Peking University and Tsinghua University.


In support of nations’ efforts to measurably improve the lives of its people, Bayer remains a committed partner in broadening market access to our medicines and delivering state-of-the-art disease management tools for patients. Earlier this year, we announced a commercial agreement with WaveForm Technologies to provide a continuous glucose monitoring system aiding patients and physicians in China with the prevention, diagnosis, and management of diabetes – one of the most widespread diseases among Chinese adults – and entered into a commercialization agreement with Hua Medicine for a novel diabetes treatment. We further announced an alliance with Chiesi Group which integrates the expertise and resources of both companies to improve access to much-needed treatments for chronic respiratory diseases in China.


Moving forward, we are excited about the pronounced shift to digital transformation in China.  In healthcare, digital solutions enable healthcare providers to operationally improve the delivery of care and in the process meet the stated national goal of providing affordable basic healthcare to all.  As the world enters more fully into the digital age, Bayer is keen on the development of a truly global set of standards and disciplines to harmonize the way economies interface in the digital space.  Certainly, from a technical perspective, a unified digital system is imminently doable and would avoid fragmentation and facilitate digital adoption over time. 


For me, the most rewarding aspect of digital transformation is our ability to directly engage patients and make a meaningful difference in their lives. I’ve had the privilege of negotiating more than 200 alliances, each with this goal in mind, and I’m motivated by the distinct emphasis that many Chinese companies such as Alibaba, Baidu, and Tencent are placing on enhancing the entire customer journey through digital transformation. Many of their top executives are also female, an encouraging sign of progress on diversity. With the river of innovation flowing strongly in both directions, we’re excited about forging new partnerships in China to help bring a new era of breakthroughs to the world at large.

A woman in a white jacket stands in front of a painting.
Dr. Marianne De Backer
Head of Strategy and BD&L, Pharmaceuticals Division of Bayer AG
3 min read