Herbalife Nutrition, a United States-based nutrition company, will expand its presence in more county-level markets. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn] Herbalife Nutrition, a United States-based nutrition company, will expand its presence in more county-level markets and deploy additional digital resources as part of its efforts to tap the huge potential in the Chinese market, a top company official said. "As a foreign company that has enjoyed successful operations in China for 15 years, we have benefited from the rise of China market," said Woody Guo, senior vice-president of Herbalife Nutrition and president for its China business. "With China's fast-growing middle-income groups, the ever-improving business environment, and Chinese people's increasing awareness about health products, especially among the younger generation, we are confident about our future." The company has built up capacities in China in the past 15 years, and is willing to help connect the China market and the outside markets, to better meet growing health products demand from the Chinese people. The population of China's middle-income groups is expected to hit 700 million soon, which indicates an even bigger potential of the China market, he said while releasing a survey on Chinese people's awareness about immunity conducted by the China Health Care Association on Tuesday. The central authorities called for demand-side reform earlier this month, in pursuit of the new dual-circulation development pattern that has the domestic market as the mainstay and the domestic and foreign markets complementing each other. Although the company's business in China started from the coastal areas, it has seen the immense potential in other parts of China, especially in the Western region and county-level areas, thanks to an improvement in people's livelihoods over the past few years and the ongoing demand-side reforms. Despite the COVID-19 epidemic, the company enjoyed double-digit growth in sales on a yearly basis in China during the first and second quarter of the year. It has launched 18 new products in the country this year, with acceleration in product launches in China since the second half of 2019. Currently, the company has expanded its footprint to more than 360 first-tier and county-level cities in China. It has decided to redeploy its personnel in different regions to better serve distributers in less privileged areas, Guo said. Herbalife has also been collaborating with top Chinese internet companies to deploy more resources into digital-related business, in order to better meet demand from consumers, he said. The company has been stepping up investments in China in recent years, including a Herbalife nutrition product innovation center, the company's first global product innovation center that was put into operation earlier this month in Shanghai. Set up with an investment of 160 million yuan ($24.5 million), the innovation center is currently spread over an area of 2,000 square meters. The company said the new innovation center is expected to help it double the new product launch in China over the next five years, as it will rapidly transform cutting-edge scientific and technological achievements in nutrition science into nutritional products. The company has also established a complete traceability system to further control its operations via digital information management. According to the survey released on Tuesday, which was supported by Herbalife Nutrition, 95 percent of the respondents attached great importance to healthy lifestyles such as dieting and exercise. However, misconceptions on health, nutrition and exercises are also common, such as the belief that the stronger the immunity is, the healthier people will be, and ignorance about nutrition intake during exercising.