Chinese insurer Ping An announced earlier this week to spin off its online healthcare unit and float it on the main board of Hong Kong stock exchange. It’s seeking up to US$ 1 billion in the initial public offering, a Reuters story said.
It has selected Citigroup and JPMorgan as the IPO sponsors.
The healthcare unit, also known as Ping An Healthcare and Technology Company, was founded in 2014 in an aim to build up an online healthcare one-stop shop. The company operates the largest online medical app, Ping An Good Doctor, launched in 2015, which users could tap for doctor diagnosis and appointment booking.
The app, with an MAU (monthly active users) of 218,000 in 2016, top-ranked and almost five times its closest competitor, connects its users to over 3,000 hospitals, 1,100 health check services, 500 dental clinics as well as 7,500 pharmacies across China. It has an aggregate user of over 192.8 million.
In 2016, the company raised US$ 500 million in funding at a valuation of US$ 3 billion.
Wang Tao, chairman and CEO of the company, said in an interview that the app’s target users are those in lower-tier cities where hospitals and clinics are scarce. Digital healthcare could come into rescue in those areas, lessening the pressure on Chinese healthcare system as well as cutting down the waiting time in hospitals and clinics.
The business incurred RMB 497.4 million (US$ 79 million) in net loss and RMB 1.02 billion (US$ 161 million) in revenue.
Japanese Softbank’s Vision Fund bought a stake of 7.41 percent of the company for US$ 400 million earlier this year.