Consumer tech business OpenDNA (ASX:OPN) has been manoeuvring for a while now to get distribution channels set up into China.

And following a market announcement this morning, it looks like it will also have some products to sell in the second half of this year.

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  • OPN said it has signed a deal with Petrus Pharmaceuticals, an Australian owned pharmaceutical manufacturer, to be the exclusive distributor of Petrus products into China.

    The two companies will work together using OPN’s Roolife e-commerce platform, an online e-commerce marketplace for Australian businesses to sell to Chinese customers which it purchased last September.

    Local investors appear to be waiting for more evidence that OPN’s China dream will turn into a reality, with the company’s share price unchanged at 4.6 cents in morning trade.

    Foot in the door

    As anyone who’s been watching developments in China export strategies among Australian companies knows, the Chinese health market is big.

    It’s also a tough nut to crack, with delicate export agreements often at risk of falling to pieces on the whim of Chinese regulators.

    Starting with its Roolife purchase, OPN has been angling for a while now to build its China network. The company reckons it can integrate its e-commerce platform with its existing AI and machine learning technology to further build out its value proposition.

    Last month, the company signed an agreement with the China-based Qingdao Edge Technology Company Limited to market OpenDNA’s AI platform in the Chinese market.

    OPN said annual sales of health products in China totaled $US30 billion in 2017, and are expected to climb by 10 per cent per year until 2025.

    “With the integration of OpenDNA’s Artificial Intelligence System, the RooLife e-Commerce platforms will continuously assess and refine the products offered to customers and gather intelligence about its customers’ preferences and buying habits,” the company said.

    OpenDNA’s agreement with Petrus is for an initial term of 12 months, and the company expects to start booking sales in the September quarter.

    In other ASX tech news today

    Sleep treatment company Oventus Medical (ASX: OVN) is building out its distribution channels in North America. The company has signed exclusive supply agreements with two sleep medicine groups in Canada — which managed seven clinical treatments sites — to use its O2Vent sleep treatment platform for patients suffering from sleep apnea. Shares in Oventus were unchanged at 20.5 cents, down from a 2019 high of 33 cents.