Hong Kong’s idsMED to join Tencent-backed WeDoctor in medical e-commerce venture
Venture will allow hospitals and care institutions to centrally procure medical devices, consumables and services
Health care products distributor idsMED Group, backed by Hong Kong tycoon Victor Fung Kwok-king's Fung Group, and online medical platform operator WeDoctor, which is backed by internet giant Tencent Holdings, will set up a joint venture to tap China’s growing demand for online medical commerce.
The pair will set up a joint venture called idsMED WeDoctor China Ltd, to let hospitals and care institutions centrally procure medical devices, consumables and services from suppliers via WeDoctor’s platform, they said in a joint statement on Monday.
They will target the US$20 billion-a-year device and consumables market. No financial details of the venture were provided.
“To complement the central procurement system, the [joint venture] will provide real time and optimal supply chain coordination and value-added services, including data analytics and intelligence,” the statement said.
“Additionally, the [joint venture] plans to set up state-of-the-art medical training and education academies across China to deliver medical products and clinical training as well as accredited medical training courses and education seminars for doctors and nurses, managers and administrators.”
idsMED chief executive Ben Chang said the joint venture aimed to “transform the complex and costly medical device distribution system in China” fraught with “fragmented, relationship-driven and trading-nature” procurement practices.
Consultancy Deloitte projected in a report that mainland China’s annual pharmaceutical electronic commerce transactions could reach 400 billion yuan (US$63.6 billion) in 2020.
Zhang Songqi, a marketing manager at WeDoctor, said late last year the company was aiming to raise US$500 million from investors before the Lunar New Year this month.
It was targeting a valuation of US$5 billion to US$6 billion, making it one of mainland China’s most valuable online health care start-ups.
Online medical services are an alternative for many patients in smaller Chinese cities and rural areas who have difficulties getting medical services due to a shortage of hospitals, clinics and doctors.
Founded in 2011 and currently with 1,600 employees including 700 sales and product specialists and 300 bio-medical engineers, idsMED represents over 200 global medical brands in equipment and medical consumables. It is a unit of the Fung family-owned Fung Investments.
Hangzhou-based WeDoctor, founded by Jerry Liao Jieyuan in 2010, runs online platforms that link up over 2,700 hospitals, 15,000 pharmacies and clinics, 220,000 doctors and 110 million medical products and services end users in China.