Chinese online healthcare unicorn JD Health has passed a listing hearing on Nov. 15, making a new step toward being listed on the Hong Kong stock market.
On Sept. 21, the company confirmed it was seeking to launch its health subsidiary on the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEX), planning to raise up to $2 billion. JD Health then submitted its prospectus on Sept. 27, becoming the first Chinese online healthcare unicorn with an annual revenue exceeding 10 billion yuan to aim for an IPO in Hong Kong.
China’s thriving digital healthcare industry is keeping a close eye on the company’s impressive march. Separated as an independent unit from JD.com in May 2019, JD Health’s valuation has since soared from $7 billion up to $30 billion, witnessing a growth rate far higher than other unicorn subsidiaries of JD.com, including JD Digital, JD Logistics, JD Industries. The company also topped the Hurun Youngest Unicorn list of 2020 last August, showing huge market potential.
Once the JD.com affiliate goes public on HKEX, the competition will likely heat up between JD Health and Alibaba-backed Ali Health (HKEX: 241.)
The Covid-19 pandemic which started to sweep China at the beginning of 2020 greatly boosted the growth of JD Health along with the whole online healthcare industry. In May 2020, the sector saw a total of 41.3 million active users, surging 38.4% compared to the same period last year, according to data released by TMT product analytical platform Qianfan Analysis. Qianfan also reported that JD Health has provided free consultation services to all its users, reaching an average of of 100,000 visiting users on a daily basis.
The health unit of JD.com, together with its rival companies such as Ali Health and PingAn Health, has prospered in a policy-friendly environment for two years, since the General Office of the State Council published the Opinions on Promoting the Development of “Internet Plus Health Care” to encourage cooperation between platforms like JD Health and medicine suppliers, doctors, and medical institutions.
It should be noted that even though JD Health only started to operate independently in 2019, its parent company JD.com has been accumulating resources in digital healthcare for over 9 years. This has helped the unicorn occupy more than 15% of the pharmaceutical retail market, with its B2B business Yaojingcai covering more than 400 cities in 21 provinces.