TikTok owner ByteDance acquires Chinese hospital chain for $1.5bn

9 Aug 2022

Image: © Robert/Stock.adobe.com

The ByteDance deal comes just weeks after Amazon acquired US healthcare provider One Medical for $3.9bn as the tech world takes aim at healthcare.

TikTok owner ByteDance has snapped up Amcare Healthcare, one of the largest private hospital chains in China.

The acquisition was reported last week by the South China Morning Post, but further details of the deal have now emerged.

Beijing-based Amcare, which runs multiple private women’s and children’s hospitals across major Chinese cities, was taken over by two ByteDance subsidiaries following a $1.5bn deal, according to Bloomberg.

The acquisition is one of the biggest deals by a Chinese tech company since the country’s government began a campaign to rein in the power of its tech giants in late 2020, and suggests the crackdown may be easing.

ByteDance, which has seen its market cap shrink lately, is making inroads in the healthcare sector with this deal.

The tech giant already has a healthcare app called Xiaohe that facilitates services such as online consultations and hospital appointments. This puts it in competition with local rivals such as Alibaba Health and Ping An Healthcare.

Globally, the acquisition is similar to moves made by Big Tech companies such as Amazon and Apple to enter and disrupt the traditional healthcare sector with technology.

Less than a month ago, Amazon acquired US healthcare provider One Medical for $3.9bn. One Medical CEO Amir Dan Rubin said at the time the deal is an “immense opportunity to make the healthcare experience more accessible, affordable and even enjoyable for patients, providers and payers”.

ByteDance is the world’s most valuable start-up. But it saw its valuation drop 25pc from last year to well below $300bn last month, according to Bloomberg, amid ongoing economic strains in the global tech space.

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic