Longmaster Information & Technology Co. Ltd., a Chinese software developer founded in 1998, announced today to acquire 39.net in cash and stock. The price reportedly is RMB650 million (more than US$100).
Launched in March 2000 by China’s state-owned pharmaceutical company 999Group, 39.net was one of the first health websites in China. It was shortly after a wave of Chinese Internet companies had been founded, such as Tencent, Alibaba, Sina and NetEase, and when the Dot-com bubble about to burst.
In 2006, when 999Group was under restructuring, 39.net introduced funding from IDG Capital Partners, a China-focused investment firm, acquired the site for RMB30 million, according to reports.
The site started offering medical and health information and then added features for users to ask doctors questions. The site covers 120 million users, with 48% on mobile, as reported by 21cbn.
The site’s major revenue source is advertising. It made RMB107 million in 2013, a 66% growth, and RMB31 million in net profit, a 264% increase, according to 21cbn — The net profit margin is 29%.
It was reported that Baidu, the largest search service in China, wanted to acquire 39.net. — Medical has been the top search category in terms of revenue for Baidu.