August 17, 2022


ByteDance, the Chinese company that owns controversial video blogging platform TikTok, quietly took control of China’s largest chain of private obstetrics and gynecology hospitals in June.

The South China Morning Newspaper (SCMP) On Friday, it reviewed documents showing ByteDance taking full ownership of Beijing Amcare Medical Management Company.

This completed the acquisition that began in September 2021 when ByteDance’s healthcare investment firm Xiaohe Health Technology bought 17 percent of Amcare. Xiaohe later bought another 13 per cent. Amcare recently pulled out of the Shenzhen public stock exchange, paving the way for the final phase of the company’s acquisition.

The takeover deal was approved without reservations or conditions by the Chinese State Administration of Market Regulation in mid-June, according to SCMP Report. Several ByteDance CEOs quickly appeared on the Amcare board of directors.

It’s clear that ByteDance is seeking to establish itself in the growing Chinese market for online healthcare services, a product that has gone viral during the coronavirus pandemic. ByteDance’s Xiaohe division launched two medical apps in late 2020: an online “medical consultation” app for healthcare seekers and a matchmaking app that validates the credentials of doctors who want to present themselves as providers.

The SCMP It has been estimated that online healthcare was an industry of 22 billion yuan in 2020 but will grow to 198 billion yuan ($29 billion) by 2025. Most of China’s tech giants are entering the market, including heavyweights such as Tencent and Alibaba .

In a similar vein, Amazon.com acquired A chain of 188 clinics called One Medical last month, with an eye to creating an online service that would become the clinics’ digital “front door”.

Amazon’s corporate planners believe they can dramatically improve the “consumer experience” in clinics, likely by handling all office jobs and paperwork online so that patients spend less time on site waiting to see doctors.

Online healthcare systems in China included Some remote interaction between doctors and patients, sometimes eliminating the need for patients to visit traditional clinics at all. Before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in Wuhan, a pilot project called Wuzhen Internet Hospital provided online diagnoses and shipped medicines directly to patients. Wuzhen Internet Hospital has kept the smallest physical facility possible to comply with Chinese law, with only 20 beds for the entire operation.

The booming online healthcare market in China take a hit In November 2021, when the Communist government published a set of stricter regulations, including a ban on the use of online consultations to make an initial diagnosis, and a ban on the use of artificial intelligence systems to answer patients’ questions in place of a qualified human physician.

Apparently, these practices were so widespread, because online health providers lost up to 30 percent of their stock value overnight. Chinese state media has hinted that more regulations on prescription drug sales and user privacy may be coming, adding to the industry’s frustration.



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