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Tsumura charging into China's herbal drug market with Ping An's support

Big data and sales channels of local partner seen as gold mine

Plants for making herbal medicine are harvested at a farm in China.

TOKYO -- Japanese traditional drugmaker Tsumura & Co. will cultivate the Chinese market by tapping the broad customer base and professional network of local company Ping An Insurance Group, with which a tie-up was announced last month.

The two companies are expected to establish a joint venture, with Tsumura taking a majority stake. The new company will integrate all operations from procurement of ingredients to sales. The partners are also searching for land in candidate cities such as Shenzhen to build a research center. The facility will develop traditional medicine and quality control technology among other things. Construction could begin as early as 2018.

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