Tong Ren Tang
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Tongrentang sign board at the Beijing headquarters
|Traded as||SSE: 600085|
Tong Ren Tang (TRT; Chinese: 同仁堂) is a Chinese pharmaceutical company founded in 1669, which is now the largest producer of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). The company is headquartered in Beijing, and is engaged in both manufacture and retail sales, operating drug stores predominantly in Chinese-speaking regions.Tong Ren Tang is considered one of the “Big 4” traditional Chinese medicine brands still in existence. The four companies include (listed in order of age not size): Guangyuyuan (1541 AD), Guangzhou Chen Liji (1600 AD), Beijing Tong Ren Tang (1669), and Hangzhou Hu Qing Yu Tang (1874). Tong Ren Tang and GuangYuYuan have been officially recognized as “China Time-Honored Brands” by the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China.
In 1669, the eighth year of the reign of the Kangxi Emperor in the Qing dynasty (1644-1911), Tong Ren Tang was established in Beijing by Yue Xianyang who served as a senior physician at the Qing imperial court. In 1702, the company relocated within Beijing to the address from which it has operated ever since. In 1723, Tong Ren Tang was appointed the sole supplier of herbal medicines to the imperial court by the Yongzheng Emperor and remained in that position until the collapse of the Qing dynasty in 1911.
Like many older Chinese companies, Tong Ren Tang has struggled to adapt to market changes. In recent years, Tong Ren Tang has modernized its facilities, and changed its trade name to Tongrentang. It remains one of the oldest surviving brand names for traditional Chinese medicine, and has wide name-recognition among Chinese and Asians worldwide. It is also one of the world's largest TCM companies, with products sold in countries all over the world.
Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing became a major player in Tongrentang's business dealings, becoming the second largest shareholder in the corporation in 2000, with the purchase of sixty million shares. Li's company, Hutchison Whampoa Ltd., has had two major joint ventures with Tong Ren Tang. In 2004, Tong Ren Tang invested 150 million Hong Kong dollars in the construction of a manufacturing plant in Hong Kong.
In October 2007, Tong Ren Tang and an American company called Greater China Corporation jointly announced the formation of a partnership under the name Tong Ren Tang Wellness Corporation to "develop spa-like wellness centers that will provide treatments and products based upon China's famous TongRenTang herbal medicines. These will include acupuncture, massage, acupressure, Tuina, T'ai chi, Qigong, reflexology and many other oriental treatments as well as a full line of herbal foods and health products".
In 2001, Tong Ren Tang, in collaboration with Germany-based Mirahi Biotech, diversified into skincare products. Using state-of-the-art western technologies and the vast cache of herbal medicines of Tong Ren Tang, the collaboration has come up with an impressive list of products. In 2008, the exclusive U.S. distributorship is licensed to a California corporation, Denosim Incorporated, and the products are being distributed by MIRAHI Skincare, Inc., San Jose, California, USA.
Tongrentang's products are often counterfeited both inside and outside China. China's Ministry of Commerce notes that "Tongrentang ... and others have had their names and brands illegally registered by other Chinese and overseas manufacturers, resulting in a predicament in exports, multinational exchanges and potential economic losses."
- "Certification of China Timed-honored Brand GuangYuYuan". zhlzh.mofcom.gov.cn. China's Ministry of Commerce. Retrieved 27 September 2017.
- Greater China Corporation Forms TongRenTang Wellness Corporation.
- China's Established and Famous Brands Are Fading, Chinese companies learn to protect their IPR