Bei­jing Tong Ren Tang: Tra­di­tional Chi­nese Medicine’s Global Jour­ney

Beijing (English) - - CONTENTS - Trans­lated by Xu Qing­tong, pol­ished by Mark Zuiderveld

As a time-hon­oured Chi­nese en­ter­prise, Bei­jing Tong Ren Tang aims to pro­vide tra­di­tional Chi­nese medicine for peo­ple all over the world with health needs.

Bei­jing Tong Ren Tang is one of the time-hon­oured Chi­nese en­ter­prises that have pro­vided sup­port for and traded with coun­tries along the “Belt and Road.” As an icon in tra­di­tional Chi­nese medicine for over 20 years, it has been serv­ing peo­ple from dif­fer­ent coun­tries with ef­fec­tive, safe and reli­able prod­ucts and ser­vices since go­ing global in the early 1990s. In re­cent years, to sup­port the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive, Tong Ren Tang has left its prints overseas, ad­just­ing to dif­fer­ent de­mands and tai­lor­ing its treat­ment ser­vices to con­trib­ute to peo­ple's health.

Amaz­ing the World with Tra­di­tional Chi­nese Medicine

Tra­di­tional Chi­nese medicine, with its unique di­ag­no­sis and treat­ment meth­ods, is not only a trea­sure of the Chi­nese peo­ple, but has also been in­ter­na­tion­ally recog­nised as ben­e­fi­cial to health. Founded in 1669, Bei­jing Tong Ren Tang has a his­tory of 348 years. It has played a sig­nif­i­cant role in pro­mot­ing TCM out­side China and meet­ing grow­ing health-re­lated needs of peo­ple from dif­fer­ent coun­tries.

In 1993, fol­low­ing the strat­egy of “Go­ing Global,” Bei­jing Tong Ren Tang opened a phar­macy in Hong Kong, mark­ing the start of its out­bound jour­ney. Af­ter ten years of devel­op­ment, in 2004, it set up Bei­jing Tong Ren Tang Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal Cor­po­ra­tion Lim­ited in Hong Kong, which served as an overseas plat­form for Bei­jing Tong Ren Tang to pro­vide TCM ser­vices to the world. Mean­while, Tong Ren Tang came up with a motto: “Wher­ever there is Chi­nese, there is Tong Ren Tang.”

At its ear­li­est stage go­ing global, Bei­jing Tong Ren Tang had its overseas branches con­cen­trated in South­east Asian coun­tries like Malaysia, Sin­ga­pore and Thai­land, where there are many Chi­nese peo­ple. When­ever they stum­bled upon a Tong Ren Tang plaque, they would be hit with nostal­gia. Ac­cord­ing to many el­derly overseas Chi­nese, they found Ton­grentang medicine ef­fec­tive hav­ing taken Ton­grentang medicine dur­ing their child­hood. They were amazed that Tong Ren Tang made its way abroad. Bei­jing Tong Ren Tang be­came an emo­tional bond that con­nected overseas Chi­nese with their mother coun­try. It also be­gan to reach out to the lo­cal peo­ple who had known lit­tle about TCM.

Cater­ing to Lo­cal Needs

On 7 May, 2013, Bei­jing Tong Ren Tang Chi­nese Medicine Cor­po­ra­tion Lim­ited was pub­licly listed in Hong Kong, build­ing a more high-end plat­form for Tong Ren Tang's out­bound jour­ney. In re­sponse to China's “Belt and Road” Ini­tia­tive, it has broad­ened its hori­zons in re­cent years and be­came com­mit­ted to a new motto—“wher­ever there is need for health, there is Tong Ren Tang.” Tong Ren Tang has opened more phar­ma­cies in Europe, Amer­ica and Africa, mak­ing greater ef­forts to serve lo­cal peo­ple.

In March 2016, Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping paid a state visit to the Czech Repub­lic and an­nounced the two cap­i­tals— Bei­jing and Prague—to be­come sis­ter cities, with TCM as a com­mon bond. Bei­jing Mu­nic­i­pal Com­mis­sion of Health and Fam­ily Plan­ning, Bei­jing Mu­nic­i­pal Ad­min­is­tra­tion of Tra­di­tional Chi­nese Medicine and Bei­jing Tong Ren Tang Group jointly hosted ac­tiv­i­ties in Prague in­clud­ing a 3-day free TCM out­pa­tient ser­vice and TCM aca­demic fo­rums, which proved pop­u­lar with the

lo­cals and at­tracted over 1,400 peo­ple. From Septem­ber 26 to Oc­to­ber 2, Bei­jing Tong Ren Tang launched sev­eral busi­ness open­ings of TCM clin­ics, re­tail phar­ma­cies, med­i­cal cen­tres and cul­tural cen­tres in New York, Los An­ge­les and San Fran­cisco, in the United States and in Van­cou­ver, Canada. Lo­cal gov­ern­ments of New York and Los An­ge­les awarded a com­men­da­tion or­der to Tong Ren Tang and the San Fran­cisco City Gov­ern­ment and set Septem­ber 30 as “Tong Ren Tang Day.” On Novem­ber 16, Bei­jing Tong Ren Tang opened five phar­ma­cies in South Africa's Jo­han­nes­burg, Pre­to­ria and Dur­ban, deep­en­ing co­op­er­a­tion in med­i­cal care and pub­lic health be­tween China and Africa as pro­posed in the Dec­la­ra­tion of the Jo­han­nes­burg Sum­mit of the Fo­rum on China-africa Co­op­er­a­tion and Fo­rum on China-africa Co­op­er­a­tion—jo­han­nes­burg Ac­tion Plan.

Ding Yongling in­tro­duced that in Europe, Amer­ica and Africa, TCM phar­ma­cies were mainly founded by Chi­nese, paving a path for fur­ther devel­op­ment of TCM. Through merg­ers and ac­qui­si­tions, Bei­jing Tong Ren Tang was able to build a uni­form brand to pro­vide au­then­tic TCM ser­vices for lo­cals. Some phar­macy own­ers said they fully trusted their suc­ces­sors in man­ag­ing and spread­ing TCM cul­ture.

In Aus­tralia, Chi­nese patent medicine can be reg­is­tered as a sup­ple­men­tary drug, so Bei­jing Tong Ren Tang in­tro­duced 60 kinds of Chi­nese patent medicines into the mar­ket. In Europe and Amer­ica, TCM en­try qual­i­fi­ca­tions are strictly re­quired, and Bei­jing Tong Ren Tang brought in over 20 kinds of TCM cat­e­gorised as food sup­ple­ments.

As of now, Bei­jing Tong Ren Tang's pro­duc­tion line has passed the GMP (good man­u­fac­tur­ing prac­tice) cer­ti­fi­ca­tion of Hong Kong, Ja­pan and Aus­tralia, the Mus­lim Ha­lal cer­ti­fi­ca­tion and Is­rael Kosher cer­ti­fi­ca­tion. In Au­gust 2016, af­ter four years of re­lent­less ef­fort, it fi­nally passed the EU GMP cer­ti­fi­ca­tion and joined the hand­ful of Chi­nese en­ter­prises that had ob­tained the au­thor­i­ta­tive EU recog­ni­tion. Its Hong Kong pro­duc­tion base, also its first overseas pro­duc­tion base, has passed the high­est-stan­dard ISO22000 cer­ti­fi­ca­tion and HACCP (hazard anal­y­sis and crit­i­cal con­trol points) cer­ti­fi­ca­tion. Bei­jing Tong Ren Tang is pre­pared to stand firmly in Hong Kong, tap into more global mar­kets and pro­vide more healthy prod­ucts. Mean­while, Tong Ren Tang's trade­mark has been reg­is­tered legally in over 70 coun­tries and ter­ri­to­ries abroad.

Tai­lored Ser­vices

Bei­jing Tong Ren Tang has been ac­tive in hold­ing pro­mo­tional ac­tiv­i­ties around the world to pop­u­larise TCM knowl­edge and ad­vo­cate a healthy life­style. On this ba­sis, ac­cord­ing to Ding Yongling, Bei­jing Tong Ren Tang be­gan its tran­si­tion to a health­care provider from its tra­di­tional role as a med­i­cal care provider. In 2014, it set up a well­ness cen­tre in Hong Kong, kick­ing off a new mode for devel­op­ment. Af­ter that, it founded a num­ber of well­ness cen­tres in EU coun­tries like Poland and the Nether­lands, bring­ing TCM health­care to lo­cals and earn­ing wider recog­ni­tion.

It is known that each of Tong Ren Tang's overseas branches will have TCM cul­ture dis­played or fea­tured pro­grammes broad­cast re­peat­edly. Lo­cal me­dia even se­ri­alised lit­er­ary

works re­lated to Tong Ren Tang's his­tory. At Tong Ren Tang, pa­tients do not only feel the magic of TCM through the tra­di­tional four di­ag­no­sis meth­ods and acupunc­ture, but also learn tra­di­tional TCM health­care ex­er­cises like shad­ow­box­ing and eight tri­grams box­ing. There are also health lec­tures and free out­pa­tient ser­vices pro­vided.

Ex­cel­lent prod­ucts, ex­quis­ite tech­nique and no­ble ethics are the three pil­lars that have sup­ported Bei­jing Tong Ren Tang gain trust and en­hance its in­flu­ence out­side China for the past 20-odd years. So far it has opened over 130 overseas branches in 26 coun­tries and ter­ri­to­ries in­clud­ing re­tail ter­mi­nals, TCM clin­ics, well­ness cen­tres, med­i­cal cen­tres and cul­tural cen­tres, re­ceiv­ing over 30 mil­lion pa­tients with sup­port­ers in the bil­lions.

Bei­jing Tong Ren Tang wants to do more to ben­e­fit more peo­ple through TCM. To re­vi­talise the old brand and cater to mod­ern health de­mands, it came up with in­ter­na­tion­ally com­pet­i­tive mod­ern health­care prod­ucts based on its su­pe­rior re­sources. In TCM re­search, it co­op­er­ated with for­eign uni­ver­si­ties and sci­en­tific re­search in­sti­tu­tions such as Stan­ford Univer­sity, New York Univer­sity and the Col­lege of Phar­macy of Cal­i­for­nia Western Univer­sity of Health Sciences to delve into the safety of key TCM va­ri­eties. In fos­ter­ing for­eign tal­ents, Bei­jing Tong Ren Tang launched TCM train­ing in med­i­cal schools of lo­cal uni­ver­si­ties, draw­ing in­ter­est from nu­mer­ous well-known Western doc­tors in lec­tures. Ding Yongling thought this would pro­vide more pos­si­bil­i­ties for fu­ture in­te­gra­tion of TCM and Western medicine to com­bat dis­eases.

In De­cem­ber 2016, Bei­jing Tong Ren Tang's cross-bor­der e-com­merce TCM “go­ing global” plat­form launched on­line, herald­ing a new “In­ter­net+” mode for Bei­jing Tong Ren Tang to gather Chi­nese medicine man­u­fac­tur­ers to de­liver prod­ucts di­rectly to global cus­tomers. With­out in­ter­me­di­ate pro­ce­dures, qual­ity can be en­sured at a re­duced cost. Tong Ren Tang's off­line stores dis­trib­uted all over the world and its ware­house sys­tem will to­gether con­trib­ute to a higher de­liv­ery ef­fi­ciency of its “go­ing global” plat­form.

Speak­ing of its fu­ture overseas devel­op­ment, Ding Yongling said that Tong Ren Tang plans to build an in­ter­na­tional and pro­fes­sional TCM group that in­te­grates plant­ing, pur­chas­ing, re­search and devel­op­ment, pro­duc­tion, sales, ser­vice, cul­ture and ed­u­ca­tion. The next steps are to fol­low the coun­try's Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive, fo­cus on TCM and ex­plore its fullest po­ten­tial and deepen co­op­er­a­tion in re­sources with coun­tries along the Belt and Road. Fur­ther­more, to carry out the strat­egy of TCM go­ing global, ac­tiv­i­ties themed on "Tong Ren Tang Overseas Cul­tural Tour along the Belt and Road” will be launched. Bei­jing Tong Ren Tang counts on pub­lic­ity by lo­cal me­dia, invit­ing ex­perts to give TCM lec­tures from overseas uni­ver­si­ties, hold­ing large-scale free out­pa­tient and con­sult­ing ser­vices and build­ing TCM mu­se­ums to spread TCM to more peo­ple around the world.

A Bei­jing Tong Ren Tang store in Kuala Lumpur

Bei­jing Tong Ren Tang holds an ex­er­cise ac­tiv­ity in Hong Kong.

Bei­jing Tong Ren Tang (Auck­land) Com­pany Lim­ited in New Zealand opens.

Bei­jing Tong Ren Tang opens a store in South Africa.

A Bei­jing Tong Ren Tang store in Dubai, The United Arab Emi­rates

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