The World Health Organization has approved the quality and production of a Chinese circumcision device to aid HIV prevention. The disposable device, called ShangRing and named after its inventor Shang Jianzhong, is made up of two concentric plastic rings that fit over a penis, clamping its foreskin so that it can be removed easily.
The approval, a so-called “prequalification” that signals international organizations that it’s okay to use the product, is meaningful for China, which wants to play a bigger role on the global health stage and burnish its image overseas by offering humanitarian aid. Though criticized for a slow response to the Ebola outbreak that mounted in West Africa last year, China contributed more than $100 million to the effort to fight the virus and has become a key player in containing it.
It’s also big news for China’s medical companies, which are trying to build prowess at home and overseas. The potential pool for profits in the Chinese healthcare market alone is projected to reach $113 billion in 2020, more than quadrupling the 2010 profit from the sector, according to consultancy Bain & Co. The global profit pool by 2020 is expected to reach $740 billion, according to Bain.