Hainan STAR was established in August 1993, as a sino-foreign equity joint venture, to manufacture and sell pharmaceutical products. At its inception, Hainan STAR was owned by Hainan Si Da Pharmaceutical United Co., Ltd , ("Hainan Si Da") a company established in the PRC, and Far-High Trading GmbH, a company established in Germany, in the proportion of 74.5% and 25.5% respectively.
Both Hainan Si Da and Far-High Trading GmbH were then wholly-owned by Anhui Province Medicine and Health Products Import and Export Limited ("Anhui Medicine"), a PRC state-owned import export company. All our Directors, other than Ms Wong Kai, Mr Bai Jinmin and our Independent Directors, were former employees of Anhui Medicine until 31 December 2002.
Between 1993 and 1996, Hainan STAR was principally engaged in the manufacture and sale of generic pharmaceutical products, mainly antibiotics. In 1996, in line with our growth strategy and in a bid to strengthen our position in the pharmaceutical industry, we initiated collaboration arrangements with various research institutes for the R&D of new pharmaceutical products.
In August 1998, to rationalise its business structure, Anhui Medicine acquired the 74.5% interest in the registered capital of Hainan STAR from its subsidiary, Hainan Si Da. In January 2000, to ensure the quality of our products, including the safety and effectiveness of their use, we commenced the upgrading of our manufacturing operations to comply with the GMP requirements of the SFDA. In March 2001, we obtained GMP certification for our powder injections, lyophilised powder injections and liquid injection production lines and manufacturing processes.
Subsequently, in August 2002, our production lines and manufacturing processes for tablets, capsules and granules were also certified GMP compliant. Accordingly, by August 2002, all our production lines and manufacturing processes were in compliance with the GMP requirements of the SFDA. This was ahead of the regulatory deadline for GMP compliance of 1 July 2004 set by the SFDA.
As our business grew, we expanded our network of third-party distributors through which our pharmaceutical products were sold. We also established liaison offices in various parts of the PRC to support, manage and monitor our distribution network. Currently, we have an extensive network of approximately 240 distributors supported by 20 liaison offices located in various regions of the PRC.
In October 2001, following the sale by Anhui Medicine and Far-High Trading GmbH of their respective shareholdings in Hainan STAR to the Trade Union of Anhui Medicine and 28 individuals, Hainan STAR was converted into a domestic limited liability company. The 28 individuals were at that time employees of Hainan STAR, and included all our Directors (other than our Executive Chairman, Ms Wong Kai, Mr Bai Jinmin and our Independent Directors).
In November 2001, we incorporated Hainan Fusida Medicine and Drug Trading Company Limited ("Hainan Fusida") to trade in third-party pharmaceutical products.
Hainan STAR owned 80% interest in the registered capital of Hainan Fusida. The remaining 20% interest was held by our Deputy General Manager, Zhao Shoutian, in order to fulfil the requirements under PRC law for a company to have a minimum of two shareholders. As the operations of Hainan Fusida remained relatively small since incorporation, on 28 January 2005, Hainan STAR and Zhao Shoutian divested Hainan Fusida to unrelated third parties, in an effort to streamline the operations of the Group and to focus on our own products.
In November 2003, the individual shareholders of Hainan STAR (comprising 26(1) employees of Hainan STAR) acquired the remaining 10% shareholdings in Hainan STAR held by the Trade Union of Anhui Medical. Consequently, the entire equity interest of Hainan STAR was then held by its employees.
In June 2004, our Executive Chairman, Ms Wong Kai, acquired the entire equity interest in Hainan STAR from the then existing 28 individual shareholders through Harvest Year (wholly-owned by Ms Wong Kai).
Subsequently in October 2004, as part of our internal management restructuring, Mr Xu Hengbing stepped down as our Executive Chairman and Ms Wong Kai joined our Group and assumed the position of Executive Chairman. Mr Xu Hengbing remains as an Advisor to our Board. In December 2004, in order to diversify into the overseas markets and expand our customer base, we commenced the sale of two of our pharmaceutical products to Chongqing Export, a PRC foreign trading company, for export to other countries in Asia.
Our Group was listed on the SGX mainboard in February 2006. The initial public offering of the shares was sponsored by Kim Eng capital Pte. Ltd.