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US-listed medical aesthetics platform So-Young exposed for hosting illegal treatments and fake reviews

Written by Song Jingli Published on 

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Once a hyped IPO, the firm’s share price sunk 9% after the scandal broke.

So-Young, a Chinese company that lists medical aesthetic treatments worldwide and lets its users book these services, raised USD 179.4 million via an initial public offering in the US in early May.

Its prominent status as a public company only amplified a recent scandal in which illegal medical interventions and fake reviews were found listed on the portal.

On Monday, So-Young admitted on its Weibo account that it has delisted a hospital that provides injection of liquids with human placenta extracts, a supposed anti-aging treatment which is illegal in China.

The company added that it has also removed several fabricated “beauty diaries” from its platform and banned the accounts that listed them. Beauty diaries are meant for patients to share their experience after undergoing plastic surgery or other treatments. But they also drive traffic to medical aesthetic companies as diary writers typically provide links of the hospitals where they were once treated.

So-Young admitted that these fake reviews are a constant plague and that it deleted 150,000 such reviews in 2018 alone.

The platform made these announcement after Chinese media outlet the Beijing News exposed the problems on Monday morning.

So-Young closed at USD 15.25 on Monday on Nasdaq, down by 9.12%.  Its IPO was hyped. Shares jumped 50% from its IPO price of USD 13.8 in the first two trading days.

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