Bayer's links with Greater China go back to 1882, when it first began marketing dyes on the Chinese market. Since then, business in China has gone from strength to strength. Today, China is one of Bayer's main centers of global investment.
In the early years, Bayer relied on German trading houses and local trading organizations located in the treaty ports, who channeled Bayer products from central points into China's provinces. Later on, there were first attempts to establish independent companies in Shanghai, such as "Firma Friedrich Bayer & Co." in 1913, and "Bayer Pharma Co." in 1936. Bayer Pharma Co. also manufactured a range of products for China, among them the famous Aspirin pain reliever.
Bayer's renewed commitment to China after World War II culminated in the establishment of its independent trading entity Bayer China Co. Ltd. in Hong Kong, in 1958. The founding of this company once again allowed Bayer to organize its business in China effectively, a business that grew steadily over the decades that followed. In 1986, this hard work was rewarded with the establishment of a representative office and a liaison office in Beijing and Shanghai, respectively.
The signing of a broadly based cooperation agreement between Bayer and the Ministry for Chemical Industry in 1993 laid the foundations for expanding the business activities in China. A year later, Bayer (China) Ltd. was established as a holding company in Beijing to coordinate technology transfer and market development and support the preparation and implementation of joint venture projects. Step-by-step investment in a number of production facilities followed, in line with China's economic development.
Bayer's investment strategy in China entered a new phase in 2001, when then Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, along with the Chairman of the Board of Bayer Dr. Manfred Schneider, marked the groundbreaking for Bayer's Integrated Polymers Site at the Shanghai Chemical Industry Park.
1882 Textile dyes first sold in China
1913 Founding of the trading company: Fr. Bayer Co. in Shanghai
1936 Aspirin production at Bayer Pharma Co., Shanghai
1994 Founding of Bayer China Holding Company
1995-1997 Founding of 12 small and mid- size JVs for different businesses; Construction of pharmaceutical facility for Bayer HealthCare
2001 Groundbreaking for Bayer Integrated Site, Shanghai
Bayer Crop Science China Hangzhou production site put into operation
2004 Lanxess carve-out
2005 Acquisition of Roche Consumer Health
2008 Acquisition of OTC brand portfolio from Sagmel (CEE) and Topsun (China)
2009 Set-up of global pharmaceutical R&D center in Beijing
2012 Global headquarters for Polycarbonates* business in China Bayer celebrates its 130th anniversary in China
2014 Start of Bayer HealthCare Beijing Site Expansion Acquisition of Dihon and Merck’s OTC business
2015 Covestro* carve-out
2016 Inaugurated the EUR 100 million extension program of Pharmaceuticals Product Supply Beijing Site
2018 Bayer closes Monsanto acquisition (completed the acquisition on June 7)