South Korea's Celltrion aims to set up China venture within first half of 2019: chairman
Members of border security forces stand in front of a docking cargo ship at Qingdao port in Shandong province, China March 8, 2018. China Daily via REUTERS

South Korean drugmaker Celltrion Inc (068270.KS) aims to set up a joint venture in China within the first half of this year, and begin selling products in the country next year, its chairman said on Sunday.

“Since last year, we’ve been pushing on with a plan to set up a joint venture in China,” Chairman Seo Jung Jin told reporters. The firm has been in talks with several Chinese companies, he said, declining to elaborate.

Celltrion sells drugs known as biosimilars, mainly to Europe and the United States.

It is South Korea’s third-largest company by market value, after Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (005930.KS) and chipmaker SK Hynix Inc (000660.KS), according to the Korea Stock Exchange.

On Friday, it said it would build a third domestic plant and is continuing to review potential manufacturing sites overseas.

Reporting by Heekyong Yang; Editing by Christopher Cushing