Switzerland-based Sonova Holding AG, the world’s largest hearing care solutions provider, has announced its plans to expand its development in China as it pays close attention to the Chinese market following the optimization of COVID-19 response measures. The company recently signed a strategic cooperation agreement with the Boao Lecheng International Medical Tourism Pilot Zone, China’s first and only special medical zone located in the southern island province of Hainan, to improve access to hearing care. The partnership will expand the availability of hearing screenings, physical examinations, and diagnosis and expand the hearing service network to further improve the quality and standard of treatment in hearing healthcare. They will also cultivate more Chinese hearing care professionals and set up a maintenance center to further enhance local innovation and service capabilities.
Arnd Kaldowski, CEO of Sonova, said that the demand of the Chinese people for hearing health solutions will increase rapidly and that the company is committed to long-term development in the country. Since Sonova entered the China market in the early 2000s, the company has set up facilities in the country and has been consistently introducing innovative technologies. It operates one of the company’s largest manufacturing bases in Suzhou, Jiangsu province, and the factory exports a large number of hearing aid products around the globe.
According to the World Health Organization, the number of people aged 65 and above experiencing hearing difficulty in China has exceeded 50 million, but the penetration rate of hearing solutions in the country is quite low, with only 60 percent to 80 percent of people with hearing difficulties using hearing aid devices, according to the European Hearing Instrument Manufacturers Association.
Sonova’s global sales revenue came in at 3.36 billion Swiss francs ($3.76 billion) during the 2021-22 fiscal year, with a strong increase supported by the solid market recovery. Sales in the Asia-Pacific accounted for 10 percent of total revenue, with specific numbers from China undisclosed, according to its annual earnings report. The company said it would continue to scale up the introduction of innovative hearing technology in China and expand its hearing healthcare service network to meet the growing demand. Phonak, a major hearing solutions brand under Sonova, also recently announced that its next generation of hearing aids would be powered by its latest Lumity platform to improve speech recognition with background noise.