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JD Health doctor advises a TechNode reporter to go to a brick-and-mortar hospital for "targeted treatment." (Image credit: TechNode/Coco Gao)

JD Health, the healthcare unit of Chinese online retailer JD.com, is preparing to file for an initial public offering in Hong Kong as soon as this month, Bloomberg reported Thursday.

Why it matters: JD Health is the latest JD.com affiliate preparing to go public in a recent spree. The potential listing comes amid mounting investor interest in the broader online healthcare sector triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.

  • Covid-19 is bolstering investments as well as mergers and acquisitions in online health care and biotech. There were $3.9 billion worth of health care-related deals in Hong Kong during the first half of the year. The whole year figure in 2019 was $3.8 billion, according to data from Mergermarket.
  • JD Health is competing with multiple rivals including Alibaba-backed Ali Health, Tencent-backed Wedoctor, and Pingan Good Doctor.

Details: JD Health could raise at least $1 billion in a Hong Kong initial public offering (IPO), according to Bloomberg sources who declined to be identified because the information is private.

  • The sources said the IPO size and timeline are still subject to change.
  • The IPO news comes just one month after the company announced the completion of a $830 million investment from Hillhouse Capital through the purchase of Series B preference shares.
  • A JD.com representative declined to comment to TechNode on Friday.

Context:  Since the beginning of this year, several of the e-commerce giant’s business units have listed or are preparing to IPO, including the Hong Kong dual listing of the core online retail business, the US IPO of grocery delivery unit Dada JD Daojia in June, and a filling to Shanghai’s STAR Market for fintech unit JD Digits in July.

  • JD Health began as an e-commerce platform that sold pharmaceutical products such as vitamins and supplements, medical supplies, and Chinese traditional medicine.
  • The platform was spun off from the parent company in May 2019. It is diversifying its services with the launch of traditional Chinese medicine, head and neck medicine, and heart disease services centers by hiring the country’s top specialists.

Emma Lee (Li Xin) was TechNode's e-commerce and new retail reporter until June 2022, when she moved to Sixth Tone to cover technology and consumption. Get in touch with her via lixin@sixthtone.com or Twitter.