Which business tycoons are entering the healthcare industry in China this year?

Which business tycoons are entering the healthcare industry in China this year?

In the recent years, the healthcare industry has been gaining steam across the spectrum of various industries, from internet to real estate, to high tech and traditional manufacturing, etc. A slew of business giants is marching into this field, and this is especially true in 2017. Several famous new faces have joined the rank.

Wanda Group

Wanda Group has dropped a bomb and shocked two fields this year, left its long dominated real estate market, and at the same time, brought tens of millions of assets into the healthcare industry.

Incorporated with its original medical division, Wanda founded the new Wanda Healthcare Group, marking healthcare officially became one of its pillar markets. It is estimated that Wanda has already invested more than a total of $22 billion in this field.


In fact, back in 2016, Wanda has already signed an exclusive partnership agreement for a 10-year global international medical hospital project with IHG from the United Kingdom. According to this agreement, Wanda will invest $2.25 billion to build and operate an international hospital in Qingdao.

This is just a corner of the iceberg; Wanda is not the only real estate company which is eyeing the healthcare industry. A range of them has plunged into this field, and this is gradually becoming a trend. According to the incomplete statistics, other than the well-known Hengda and Vanke, a total of 30 real estate developers has also dipped their toes.


Foxconn, the world’s largest OEM, has been seeking for a transition in the past years. After exploring several other fields, including electricity supplier, logistics, etc., Foxconn began to turn its attention to medical devices.

On March 1st, 2017, Foxconn has revealed its strategic cooperation with Beijing Genomics Institute, in which Foxconn is going to take over the large-scale production of Beijing Genomics Institute’s several instruments and products.

Not long ago, Foxconn has announced that a number of its medical device projects has completed their clinical trials. They are planned to enter the final administrative examination and approval stage shortly. It is predicted that these new projects are going to bag Foxconn with a total of $45 million in 2018. And this number is expected to reach $270 million in 2020.

Shanghai Electric

Other than Foxconn, Shanghai Electric, another Chinese manufacturing giant has also showed strong interest and is taking deliberate steps into the medical device market. On September 28th, 2017, Shanghai Electric has announced its intention to invest a total of $30.6 million in this sector, marking its official entery. Of this, $30 million will be used to set up a joint $240 medical fund with other investors. And the rest $600,000 will be used to create an investment management company, as the general partner of the joint medical fund.

According to people familiar with this matter, this medical fund will mainly invest in medical devices and instruments, including but not limited to in-vitro diagnostics, radiotherapy, medical imaging, ultrasound equipment, medical robots, endoscopic minimally invasive instruments, rehabilitation medical, home medical equipment, etc.


Following the footsteps of Haier, Midea, another home appliances giant, has made their way into the healthcare industry. On September 19th, 2017, Midea signed a cooperation agreement with Guangzhou Pharmaceuticals. Under this agreement, both parties will conduct multi-dimensional collaborations in a variety of fields, including robotics and medical device development, healthcare bioinformatics, the construction of smart supply chain, medical investment, intelligent manufacturing, etc.

This is not Midea’s first move in the healthcare sector. Earlier this year on March 31st, it has announced that they will position rehabilitation robotics as one of their major development directions in the future.


On the heels of Ali, Jingdong, and Suning entering the healthcare industry, Vipshop is also dipping its toe into this realm. On July 14th, Vipshop pulled the trigger on acquiring Haoxin Pharma, a Guangzhou based chain pharmacy with internet selling rights. It is understood that this move is both to showcase its future development to the capital market and to prepare for its contact lenses and sex toys online business.

Huashang Media Group

On November 9th, 2017, Huashang Media group has penned a strategic collaboration deal with Yikang Medicine. The duo will carry out in-depth cooperation in the field of health management and initiate a “media+health” model, marking its official entering the healthcare industry. The emphasis will be primarily on two aspects — health management and medical treatment.

It is predicted that Huashang and Yikang will open 50 healthcare centers this year, and by the end of 2019, the number will reach more than 5000.

At present, the healthcare industry is one of the largest and fastest-growing industries. Whether expanding or restructuring, a slew of companies has their eyes fixed on it. However, the majority of them focus more on pharmaceutical sales, logistics, e-commerce, services, and equipment, but are less involved in those high-risk and high-threshold areas, such as new drug R&D and gene sequencing. In the future, as these companies deepen their understanding in the healthcare industry, we may see them playing a more an active role in those fields.

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