Dear Friends and Digital Health Affiliates focused on China,

We are back as promised and are excited to bring the latest digital health trends from China to you. Again, we invite you to partially shift perspectives from Silicon Valley to Shenzhen/ Beijing and engage with a USD 1.2tn healthcare market.

1 Jack Ma’s Digital Health Insurance Startup grows rapidly in China

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The online e-commerce giant Alibaba founded by Jack Ma, has a strong financial services entity: Ant Financial, which now launched a mutual aid health insurance platform, Xiang Hu Bao, reached 50mn users in less than six months. Its services connects to the popular payment app Alipay. The platform aims to reach 300mn users in the next two years (20% of China’s population). The platform’s participants act as a collective that share the expense evenly when one falls critically ill. With the implementation of blockchain technology, the system has become more transparent and fraud resistant. Chinese insurance sector undergoes disruption with insurtech premium reaching USD 164bn by 2020.

Cited Companies in this article:

  • Alibaba – Enable businesses to transform the way they market, sell, operate and improve their efficiencies – Revenue 2018: USD 39.9bn (Statista)
  • Ant Financial – Online payment services – total funding: USD 22bn (Crunchbase)
  • Xiang Hu Bao  Digital health insurance product by Ant Financial

2 Serious Consequences for a US based digital health company, who took financing from Chinese investors

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The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) forces Chinese digital health unicorn iCarbonX (backed inter alia by Tencent) to divest its majority stake of PatientsLikeMe, an online service that helps patients to find people with similar health conditions. In total, Chinese direct investment in the U.S. has plummeted 90 percent in two years, from USD 46bn in 2016 to USD 4.8bn in 2018 (Rhodium Group).

Cited Companies in this article:

  • iCarbonX – Healthcare AI Company in biotech, Valuation: over USD 1bn (CBInsights)
  • Tencent – Internet service portal offering value-added internet, mobile, telecom, and online advertising services – Revenue 2018: USD 47.3bn (

3 Tencent-backed online healthcare platform Trusted Doctor secures USD 250mn

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After investing in a similar platform WeDoctorTencent is now backing its own company building project “Trusted Doctor” with USD 250mn. Trusted Doctor said it connects 440,000 certified doctors with more than 10mn patients online, offering services from online consulting to e-commerce to physical check-ups. Another major local competitor, Ping An Good Doctor, has reached 265mn registered users at the end of 2018. The platform accumulated nearly 410mn pieces of consultation data, covering several aspects of healthcare such as user consultation, drug purchase and health management, eventually generating 35,000 data labels for various diseases. As above mentioned WeDoctor is also backed by Tencent and raised USD 500mn last year (May 2018). WeDoctor’s web-based service offers are similar to Ping An Good Doctor and Trusted Doctor service. Offering users appointment booking, medical education, online diagnosis, and consultations with live doctors across several medical specialties directly through the platform.

Cited Companies in this article:

  • Tencent Trusted Doctor – Digital healthcare service platform – USD 250mn total funding (crunchbase)
  • Ping An Good Doctor – Digital healthcare service platform – USD 900mn total funding (crunchbase)
  • WeDoctor – Digital healthcare service platform – USD 1bn total funding (crunchbase)

Again, We hope this short overview gives you a better understanding, what is going on in China and thank you very much for your positive feedback so far. See you again in two weeks.

Godspeed & 祝大家成功!

Chenchao Liu & Min-Sung Sean Kim