WeDoctor considers listing a spinoff on new tech board

Published Tue, Feb 19, 2019 · 09:50 PM
Share this article.

Hong Kong

WEDOCTOR, one of China's biggest online health-care startups, is considering spinning off a major slice of its business and listing it on the country's soon-to-be-created technology board, according to sources.

WeDoctor is weighing a listing of at least part of its cloud-services arm amid a broader restructuring, the sources said. That division amasses sensitive personal data by serving local governments and hospitals, and Beijing prefers to keep information related to that business in-country, they said.

The spinoff would join the first batch of companies on the much-anticipated tech bourse, intended to help innovative enterprises secure capital at home rather than abroad. Backed by Tencent Holdings Ltd, WeDoctor joins a growing contingent of tech giants hoping to uproot a healthcare industry that's been largely impervious to online disruption.

The startup, whose business spans insurance policies to appointment-booking and physical clinics, is trying to unclog bottlenecks in a Chinese healthcare market slated to hit 8 trillion yuan (S$1.6 trillion) by 2020. It was last valued at US$5.5 billion.

While China has some of the world's biggest technology companies, many from Alibaba Group Holding Ltd to Tencent are listed in the US or Hong Kong. The new science and technology board of the Shanghai stock exchange is the brainchild of Chinese President Xi Jinping, who unveiled the concept in November. Regulators see it as a way to keep the country's most promising companies from going public abroad.

Beijing however has a patchy track record with attempts to entice the nation's tech champions. An effort to lure companies back with so-called Chinese depositary receipts, which would allow domestic investors to hold stakes in overseas-listed Chinese companies, petered out rapidly. With the new board, companies could face laxer listing rules compared with existing exchanges, a boon to tech startups that have racked up losses in the pursuit of growth. Venture capital house Zhenfund said in November that as many as 10 of its portfolio companies could head for the board. BLOOMBERG

BT is now on Telegram!

For daily updates on weekdays and specially selected content for the weekend. Subscribe to

Companies & Markets


Get the latest coverage and full access to all BT premium content.


Browse corporate subscription here