Company of the Month August | Tong Ren Tang

Tong Ren Tang, global leader in traditional Chinese medicine, officially opened its European headquarters in The Hague on 27 August. Later this year, the company will also open a flagship store in The Hague where customers will be introduced to treatments, such as acupuncture and massages, and traditional Chinese medicine according to the company’s ancient principles dating back 2,000 years.


Photo: Ribbon cutting at the official opening ceremony in The Hague, August 27th. From left to right: Ms. Ding Yongling, CEO of Tong Ren Tang; Mr. Chen Xu, Chinese ambassador to the Netherlands; Mr. Karsten Klein, Vice Mayor of The Hague; Mr. Lasé Hu, Director PuDu Health; Ms. Marleen Zuijderhoudt, Executive Director WestHolland Foreign Investment Agency.

Tong Ren Tang and the WestHolland Foreign Investment Agency
During the visit of the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte to China in March of this year, a Letter of Intent was signed between Tongrentang and the WestHolland Foreign Investment Agency on the subject of the company’s business expansion to WestHolland.


Photo: Signing Ceremony Letter of Intent between Tong Ren Tang and the WFIA. From left to right: Mr. Jeroen Nijland, Commissioner Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency; Mr. Guy Wittich, Director NFIA China; Marleen Zuijderhoudt, Executive Director WestHolland Foreign Investment Agency; Ms. Wilma Mansveld, Dutch State Secretary; Mr. Mark Rutte, Dutch Prime Minister; Ms. Ding Yongling, CEO Tong Ren Tang; Mr. Ji Guangfei, shareholder Tong Ren Tang;  Mr. Aart Jacobi, Dutch Ambassador in China.

Contact between Tongrentang and WestHolland date back to 2006, when relations were established between the Dutch horticulture sector and Chinese cultivators of herbal medicine. During the ‘High Value Plant Product’ seminar in Lansingerland in 2009, Tongrentang gave a keynote about its view on governance in the Traditional Medicine Health sector and shared its knowledge about plant products with the Dutch, represented by a.o. Leiden University and its Faculty of Biology, DuSart Pharma and Stichting Innovatie Glastuinbouw.

Now that the company has officially settled in The Hague – almost 7 years after the initial contact – the primary focus will be on establishing an integrative health care center to provide a one-stop-shop for consumers interested in Chinese traditional medicines, supplements, cosmetics products, natural products and TCM related services such as acupuncture and traditional massages. In the long run, TRT also aims to carry out R&D in order to develop new products and services. “The Netherlands has become a gateway for this niche market of Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Most of the European TCM products are being registered and imported through the Netherlands”, said Karsten Klein, Vice Mayor of the City of The Hague during the official opening ceremony.

WestHolland Foreign Investment Agency, Opening Tong Ren Tang

Photo: Tong Ren Tang’s European Headquarters in The Hague, The Netherlands.


About Tong Ren Tang
Tong Ren Tang originated in 1669 A.D, during the Qing Dynasty. In recent times, the company has been recommended by the China Federation of Industrial Economics and China Top Brand Strategy Promotion Committee as ‘one of 16 Chinese enterprises with the strength to become world famous brands’. It has been named the “famous time-honored brand” by the Ministry of Commerce, and has been awarded numerous other both business and culture related, honorable titles. In 2006, the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) culture of Tongrentang was listed in the National Intangible Cultural Heritage Directory. This culture’s theory forms the essence of Tong Ren Tang and absorbs the essential ideas from Chinese classical philosophy such as Confucianism and Taoism.

Doing business overseas
Tong Ren Tang has already opened more than 110 outlets worldwide and now has more than 600 employees overseas. It is also promoting Tai Chi and acupuncture abroad while collaborating with traditional Chinese medicine research institutes to foster talent overseas.

Europe, host to the world’s largest herbal medicine market, accounts for a market share of 40 percent of the world’s total. To enter this huge market, cultural sensitivity, strong brand influence and superior medicine quality were essential factors in becoming a global player. Traditional Chinese medicine already has a relatively broad base of recognition in Europe, with customers in countries such as Poland, Germany and Hungary believing TCM has less side-effect than Western medicine and focuses more on addressing the underlying causes of illness.

Tong Ren Tang has treated more than 30 million patients overseas and has plans to establish plantations, research and production centers, as well as retail and wholesale outlets overseas. The company is listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange since 1997. Last year, its combined valuation surpassed 45 billion yuan (US$7.3 billion/ €6.6 billion).

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