Chinese Internet giant Tencent has invested $70 million in DXY (also known as Ting Ting Group), which claims to be the largest online healthcare service community in China. In return, Tencent will receive a minority equity stake in DXY.
As Technode (our partner site in China) points out, Tencent’s investment in a healthcare company is in-line with its competitive strategy against e-commerce giant Alibaba Group. Alibaba has also made several investments in the healthcare sector, including the acquisition of CITIC 21CN, a drug data company, in order to create an app that lets users scan barcodes to verify the authenticity of their drugs; and its “Future Hospital” plan, which is an initiative to make hospitals more efficient through the use of Alibaba products like online payments service Alipay and cloud computing platform.
In a statement from the companies, Tencent will start to offer DXY’s services, which include access to a network of doctors, on several of its platforms, including possible integrations with its popular messaging platform WeChat and microblogging site Mobile QQ.
In turn, DXY will use the investment to further its strategy of moving from products for doctors and pharmaceutical companies to consumer healthcare, including apps like Family Medicine and DXY Doctor. DXY says it plans to provide medical information to consumers by focusing on three categories: products for WeChat, mobile apps, and Web-based services.
“Given the prevalence of fake and inaccurate medical and healthcare information in China, which negatively impacts consumers, DXY is especially focused on ensuring the ‘reliability’ of the information it provides through its platform,” the company said.
In addition, DXY will also use part of Tencent’s investment to create a platform for doctors and pharmaceutical companies to communicate and “allow for a more legally compliant and effective way of exchanging ideas and knowledge.” Ting Ting Group said it will also use big data technology to “provide more accurate and higher value human resource solutions to healthcare companies and medical institutions in China.”
Martin Lau, president of Tencent, said that company has been closely following China’s healthcare industry. “With a rich pool of over two million professional doctors, we understand that DXY is an industry leader in the healthcare industry. Tencent is capable of connecting DXY’s talented pool of healthcare professionals and their medical knowledge database with tens of millions of users. This improves the ease of which our users can access healthcare information and professional medical help.”