Meanwhile, the invention also attracted the attention of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In 2012, Bill Gates lauded ShangRing for being an innovative solution to a complicated health problem, and promoted it in a public speech.
Supported by the Gates Foundation, ShangRing was then used in a wide range of clinical trials in a number of African countries.
Shang said that the ring has been very well received by African men, who generally have a strong willingness to accept circumcision.
The Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS revealed that 36.9 million people were living with HIV globally in 2014, of whom 70 percent lived in sub-Saharan Africa.
In 2015, the WHO authorized the prequalification of the ShangRing, as it meets acceptable international standards of safety, quality and efficacy, marking a breakthrough in Chinese medical invention.
According to Shang, he also arranges for African doctors to come to China to undergo short-term study on using the ShangRing every year.
Eyeing the future
While it is popular in Africa, Shang has been disappointed to find that his invention is not receiving the attention he believes it deserves back in his own country.
He stressed to the Global Times that there are many counterfeit manufacturers in China and the market is in chaos. His company often has to file lawsuits against copycat companies, but the compensation he receives from winning his lawsuits does not come close to the losses he has suffered in the Chinese market.
Also, Chinese men are generally much less willing to be circumcised than men in many Southeast and East Asian countries, including South Korea and Japan.
Shang explained that this is partly because China does not have a tradition of circumcision, and the roughly 1,000 yuan surgery fee prohibits many people from undergoing the procedure.
But the situation does seem to be improving in China's big cities. "Now, many families are willing to spend the money for their young sons to be circumcised," he said.
He said that in the future, he hopes the ring will be able to reach a wide domestic market, which he stressed needs to do more to protect the rights of inventors like him.He also suggested that the surgery fee for circumcision be covered by medical insurance and called for more media coverage of related health knowledge.