China isn’t messing around when it comes to investing in the biotech sector, or pushing the frontiers of human knowledge. Nowhere is this more evident than with China’s substantial foray into creating new drugs — as well as that nation’s massive research commitment to the human genome, striving to cure and prevent diseases, and improve human life. Regardless if you translate medical terminology for a living, work with Chinese translation services, or perhaps are involved in a variety of other translation related jobs, the investment China is putting into biotech means that there is, and will continue to be, a ton of medical and research information in need of translation.
A good example of the innovative thinking coming out of the Middle Kingdom these days is the work being done by BGI (Beijing Genomics Institute). Even though this enormous genetic research collective is no longer located in Beijing, BGI (now situated in Shenzhen) has lead the efforts to sequence the nasty SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) virus, and leads the world in next generation sequencing (faster and less expensive than older sequencing techniques), and has even sequenced the giant panda genome.
In addition to all of these impressive accomplishments, this privately funded Chinese NGO is also researching the genetic foundations of human intellect, sequenced Christopher Hitchens and Steve Jobs genomes while they were fighting cancer, was involved with The 1000 genomes project, and is doing much of the heavy genetic lifting when it comes to cancer and diabetes research — plus a whole lot more. Is it any wonder that crisp medical and technical translation plays such a vital part of communication among researchers, and perhaps just as important, getting medical findings out into the wider world?
And while BGI has a very generous, humanitarian approach to its research (sharing information very liberally), let’s not forgot the massive job and research-creating engine of the Chinese government. In the past, China was probably better known for manufacturing and selling inexpensive, generic alternatives to drugs developed elsewhere. But with so much talent developed locally — or else educated abroad and then returning to China — the government has been shifting focus toward developing big drugs that can be taken to the global market, which of course means plenty of medical translation jobs as a part of the process. Policy makers have been doing this by working with advisors, wooing investors, and setting up biotech zones and favorable regulations that encourage local talent to dive into the healthcare game.
China, already the second largest market in the world for pharmaceuticals (the U.S. industry is larger), is still growing. China’s medical device regulatory framework gives devices developed overseas the same legal treatment as devices developed domestically, which is great news for non-Chinese device makers. Even so, it seems the Chinese domestic market — from biotech to the medical device industry — will see more and more highly competitive and knowledgeable local players laying claim to their share of the domestic market.
Medical Translation Jobs
In China, the dragon is a symbol of power, strength, and good luck for people who are worthy of it. Lately, dragons have been smiling at China’s biotech and healthcare industries. But regardless of the ebb and flow of domestic and foreign biotech and medical investment, not to mention a dizzying amount of international partnerships, Chinese translation services and translating companies will have a lot of work in, and coming out of China in the days, months and years to come.
Read our whitepaper 5 Case Studies in Medical Translation and Localization, and register to attend the 15 minute free healthcare localization webinar.