Mamiai from Bejing Hanmi Pharmaceutical Wins over Countless Mothers in China


Mamiai, a probiotic supplement for promoting digestive health manufactured by Beijing Hanmi Pharmaceutical, has won over countless mothers across China and created a stepping-stone to success in the Chinese market for the Hanmi Pharmaceutical Group.

The product is especially meaningful, as it was developed and promoted by Lim Sung-ki, the late founder and chairman of Hanmi Pharmaceutical, and Song Young-sook, the current chairwoman of Hanmi Pharmaceutical Group. The late founder pursued market development in China by traveling to the country along with his wife and current chairwoman for years even before the establishment of diplomatic ties between Korea and China.

During one of his visits, Mr. Lim saw children taking medicines intended for adults by fractioning them because there were no medicines made specifically for kids. Knowing that this practice was unsanitary and impeded administration of accurate doses, thereby lowering efficacy, he became determined to develop children’s medications for the Chinese market.

Song Young-sook, with tremendous insight on Chinese culture and lifestyle, suggested to her husband that they launch a premium pharmaceutical product for children, based on the foresight that Chinese families, under the one-child policy, would try to provide the best care to their only child.

She proposed that Hanmi Pharmaceutical’s Medilac, which was gaining popularity as a premium digestive health supplement for children in Korea, be launched in China. It was renamed Mamiai, meaning “Mother’s Love,” and it was released in China in October 1994 following a clinical trial at seven local hospitals.

At the time of its release, Hanmi Pharmaceutical invited leading pediatric specialists who performed the study to give presentations in major cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou. For two years after the launch, some 150 seminars were held with the participation of around 30,000 pediatricians.

Mamiai, which has been recording about KRW 70 billion in sales each year, is now one of the most popular probiotic supplement for children’s digestive health in China. In 2014, Hanmi Pharmaceutical became the first Korean company in the industry to obtain the “Famous Trademark” in China with Mamiai. The Famous Trademark is an official certification mark granted by the Trademark Office under the State Administration for Industry and Commerce to trademarks known for their product quality and brand awareness.

A representative from Hanmi Pharmaceutical Group said, “Mamiai is a hit product in the children’s digestive health supplement category in China that was jointly created by the previous chairperson Lim Sung-ki and the current chairperson Song Young-sook who took a special interest in mother-child health. Beijing Hanmi Pharmaceutical is securing future growth engines not only for the pediatric medicine market but also the adult medicine market, and it is endeavoring to develop innovative new drugs through in-house research and development (R&D).”

Source: Munhwa Journal 21