EU launches probe into Chinese medical device procurement market

The European Union has launched a probe into China's public procurement market for medical devices, suspecting that European companies and products have not been given fair access in China.

The European Commission announced the investigation on Wednesday.

The commission says China has introduced measures favorable to Chinese companies and products. It says EU suppliers of products including X-ray devices, artificial respiration apparatuses, gauze and bandages have been treated unfairly with impaired access.

The commission points out that Chinese exports of medical devices towards Europe surged more than 100 percent between 2015 and 2023, while China's market became more closed for European firms and products.

If the commission concludes that European suppliers and products have not been granted fair access in China, the bloc may place restrictions on Chinese medical device companies bidding in EU public procurement markets.

The EU has already launched investigations into electric vehicles imported from China, as well as Chinese suppliers of wind turbines in the bloc.

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin criticized the EU's move in a news conference. He urged the bloc to honor its commitment to open markets and the principle of fair competition. He also said the EU should "stop going after and restraining Chinese companies under various pretexts."