Baidu launching online healthcare branch

Source:Global Times Published: 2020/3/26 18:08:40

Chinese search engine Baidu Photo:IC

China's internet giant Baidu has set up two online healthcare companies within a week, a sign that China's online healthcare market is booming, experts said. 

On March 18, Baidu established Yinchuan Baidu Health Internet Hospital Co with a registered capital of 10 million yuan ($1.4 million). The company's business scope includes health management, health examinations, health consultation and hospital management.

Six days earlier on March 12, the internet giant established Baidu Health Technology Co with a registered capital of 30 million yuan. 

The coronavirus has boosted the development of new business models such as online healthcare, Liu Dingding, a Beijing-based industry analyst, told the Global Times on Thursday.

"'Internet+healthcare' is the right way to help traditional medical institutions upgrade their services and operational efficiency through AI and big data," Liu said.

Baidu began its exploration of the healthcare market as early as 2015, allowing users to contact local doctors, make appointments and ask questions online.

In 2019, it launched a health science popularization platform in conjunction with top medical experts at home and abroad, providing users with rich, comprehensive, easy-to-understand health information.

In addition to Baidu, several other big players have also entered the online healthcare industry armed with big data and AI technologies. launched the JD Health App in February, providing online consultations and setting up special purchase channels for epidemic prevention products such as masks and alcohol disinfectant.

The number of online consultations surged during the Spring Festival. Peak activity on online medical consultation apps reached 6.712 million daily users, an increase of 31.28 percent.

The State Council on March 5 issued documents to support the development of new service models such as internet+healthcare.

Liu noted that compared with foreign internet giants such as Google, which launched its health service as early as in 2008, companies in China entered the sector much later, but may develop and expand faster in terms of offline application with active government support.

"The Chinese government has enlisted the help of Alibaba and Tencent to launch color-coded systems that track the health status of individuals, which aids healthcare management and facilitates work resumption," he said.

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