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E-commerce giants bear brunt in crackdown on livestreaming celebrities | China Venture Roundup Volume 67

Written by KrASIA Venture Roundup Published on   2 mins read

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China Venture Roundup Volume 67 covers China’s investment activity from December 13 to 19, 2021.

Find out what moves China tech with us. We round up what you need to know about the local venture scene every Thursday at 8:00 a.m. (GMT +8), covering major investment stories, MNC partnerships, noteworthy startups, industries with the most investments for the week, and more.

Here’s a preview of what you’ll receive in your inbox. Get the full picture by subscribing to China Venture Roundup.

MNCs 

Global healthcare leader Eli Lilly and Company (Lilly) and Chinese medicine developer Regor Therapeutics Group (Regor) recently entered a multi-year research collaboration and licensing agreement to discover, develop, and commercialize novel therapies for metabolic disorders.

Under the terms of the agreement, Lilly will gain access to Regor’s IP to further accelerate innovation and deliver breakthrough therapies to treat obesity and diabetes. Lilly will manage worldwide clinical development, production, and marketing, while Regor will hold the rights and maintain these responsibilities in Greater China. In addition, Regor will receive an upfront payment of up to USD 50 million, which includes an equity investment from Lilly.

Going Public: IPOs

Yonghe Medical, the largest hair transplant service provider in China, raised HKD 1.357 billion (USD 174 million) from its global offering and went public on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on December 13. The company’s IPO was oversubscribed 160 times.

Yonghe provides hair transplant services through 51 facilities in 50 cities across China. With a 10.5% market share, Yonghe ranked first by revenue and patient volume among Chinese companies operating in this space last year, according to Frost & Sullivan.

China has a sizable hair-based medical services market that is expected to rise to RMB 138.1 billion (USD 21.65 billion) by 2030. Other hair transplant institutions, such as Simson, Lotus, and Barley, are also seizing this market opportunity.

KrASIA News Picks

As part of the larger tech regulatory movement in China, top-earning livestreamers have been slapped with heavy tax fines in recent months. In the latest move by regulators, internet celebrity Huang Wei, also known as Viya, was fined RMB 1.34 billion (USD 210 million) for tax evasion. Dubbed China’s “livestream queen,” Viya is one of the most popular livestreamers on Taobao, with a following of nearly 100 million on Taobao Live. In 2020, she racked up more than RMB 31 billion (USD 4.86 billion) in sales.

The national broadcasting regulator’s intent to tighten rules for livestreaming has triggered alarm among China’s professional streamers, resulting in thousands of streamers volunteering as subjects of tax investigations, and regulators said those who “voluntarily rectify” taxation issues will receive small fines, or even none at all.

Given that platforms like Taobao have become dependent on high-profile livestreamers to keep up with consumer habits, this development may lead to outsized impact on the business of Taobao and even stall high-performing sales channels for e-commerce companies. Read here for the full story.

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