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Fresh Hippo Ventures into Online Pharmacy Business with Yao123.com
COVID-19 and China

China's new-retail and new-healthcare vanguards Fresh Hippo and Yao123.com initiated a new plan to integrate the massive digital pharmacy market into a company that has hundreds of branches around China, in a move to consolidate the demand for the medical products with new and fast consumption points. 

The cooperation between Sinopharm Group Co. Ltd.(1099: HK) subsidiary Yao123.com (国药在线) and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (BABA: US) owned Fresh Hippo (盒马鲜生) marked the first organic co-distribution agreement in China's new healthcare and retail scene, further diminishing the thin-line between the new-retail and digital-pharmacies.  

The parties went along utilizing the pharmaceutical vending machines named "Hippo First-aid Kit" that are located in the Fresh Hippo stores.

Yao123.com committed providing the drugs and pharmaceutical consumer services, whereas Fresh Hippo will be responsible for the logistics and delivery, facilitating a door-to-door service within 30 minutes for the customers who reside within three kilometres.

After three years of rapid expansion, the number of Fresh Hippo stores reached 160, as of June 2019, and Fresh Hippo has been obtaining medical-services related approvals, gradually. The company has launched its "Hippo First-aid Kits" in 2017, selling late-night emergency products, including, among others, condoms, batteries, and thermometers, and the average delivery time found to be 18 munites for those products, accounting 40% of the orders between 20:00 to 22:00 PM, according to the investigation by a Chinese publication of medical news, vcbeat.com.

"Chinese scale and big data always facilitate startups to execute to-the-point strategic cooperation decisions," quoted an analyst from iyiou.com, the sister publication of EqualOcean.

Apart from Fresh Hippo's new initiative, Alibaba has already invested heavily in Healthcare, in a move to get an advantage of China's problematic and massive healthcare industry; there are great spaces that are waiting to be filled by the innovative startups. 

Ali Health (阿里健康), Alibaba-owned healthcare unicorn, provides digital pharmacy services as one part of its broad healthcare services scope. Fresh Hippo's new initiative considered as yet another fractionation of healthcare services by Alibaba, to commercialize the healthcare industry by all possible means.

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