This excerpt taken from the NVS 6-K filed Mar 2, 2007.
Novartis in China
Novartis and its predecessor companies have been active in China since 1938 when Ciba opened its office in Shanghai, initially as a provider of dyestuffs and later expanding into the pharmaceutical arena.
The Chinese name for Novartis (pronounced Nuo Hua) means Commitment to China, which reflects the companys long-term strategy in the region. The total investment in China now totals over USD 400 million, with two major developments announced in 2006: a manufacturing and development center in Changshu, to be fully operational by the end of 2007, and an integrated biomedical research and development center in Shanghai expected to open in May.
Novartis currently ranks as the fourth largest pharmaceutical company in the Chinese hospital market with a compound annual sales growth rate of over 30% during the last five years, and currently has around 2,400 full-time employees in China.