Business / Companies

Alibaba to fund pharmaceutical business platform

By MENG JING ( Updated: 2014-01-24 14:58

Alibaba to fund pharmaceutical business platform
A banner shows the logo of Alibaba Group. [File photo / Provided to China Daily]

China's e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd said on Thursday it plans to fund a pharmaceutical information platform that is being developed by CITIC 21 CN co, a subsidiary of CITIC Group.

Alibaba Group and Yunfeng Capital, a private equity firm founded by Alibaba's founder and chairman Jack Ma, will inject about HK$ 1.33 billion ($170 million) into CITIC 21 CN and become the largest shareholder of the company by taking a 54.3 percent stake.

Alibaba will take 38.1 percent and Yunfeng will take 16.2 percent.

According to CITIC 21CN's statement filed with the Hong Kong stock exchange, the company will continue its current businesses and plans to expand its domestic pharmaceutical data platform. Alibaba will probably introduce new businesses or other forms of cooperation.

According to Chinese regulations, e-commerce companies cannot sell pharmaceutical products online unless they obtain certain licenses. As China's largest e-commerce company, Alibaba has so far not been allowed to sell drugs directly on its online marketplaces.

The size of China's B2C pharmaceutical business was estimated to exceed 1.5 billion yuan ($248 million) in 2012, rising from 400 million yuan in 2011, previous media reports said.


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