Ping An Good Doctor: Online Care Thriving as Epidemic Continues
COVID-19 and China
A long queue lines up waiting for 'One Minute Clinic' experience. Image: Credit to Ping An Good Doctor

On February 11, Ping An Good Doctor (1833: HK) released its 2019 financial report, announcing revenue of CNY 5.1 billion, a 51.8 % year-on-year growth, that resulted its 2015 - 2019 CAGR at 106%, far exceeding the market CAGR of 44.26% in the same period.

Compared to its revenue in 2018 and 2017 (CNY 3.3 billion and CNY 1.9 billion), the firm generated around 5.1 billion revenue in 2019, including CNY 8.6 million from online services. Meanwhile, it suffered a lower net loss of around CNY 747 million this year, compared to CNY 913 million in 2018. From the operation perspective, the report highlights a total of 315 million registered users, with a 50-million increase in 2019.

Following the issuance of the pricing details of Internet-based medical services by the National Healthcare Security Administration, Chinese Internet healthcare has embraced its coming ‘Spring.’ Based on the reseach conducted by China International Capital Corporation (CICC), the market size is expected to reach CNY 94 billion in 2020, with a year-on-year growth rate of 38%.

Since launching the App in 2015, Ping An Good Doctor has provided online services, covering 7/24 online inquiry, prescriptions, 1-hour pharmacy delivery, and other conveniences. Based on its self-owned national medical team and self-developed AI assistance systems, it is growing fast. In 2016 it surpassed ChunYu Doctor, an early player established in 2011.

Passing through the high time of the new coronavirus outbreak, Ping An Good Doctor has recorded 1.11 billion visits, a tenfold increase in the growth of new users registered, a ninefold increase in daily inquiries from new users and 98 million video plays. “We believe, even though this coronavirus inevitably impacts China’s economy, it would be an important opportunity for Internet healthcare in the middle/long term,” said Wang Tao (王涛), Chair and CEO. “People are more aware of online medical services, which is a great benefit for us,” he added.

In 2019 Ping An Good Doctor saw the fastest growth in Online Inquiry services, a 130% increase in this operating profit, followed by 22.7% in Heath Management & Interaction Consumption, 16.9% in Online Shopping, -4.2% in Consumption Medicals. By the end of 2019, it had cooperated with 94,000 pharmacies in 32 provinces and 375 cities. Miao Shou Doctor, another same-aged mobile health company, has established an online medical system covering 23 provinces and 66 cities nationwide, connecting more than 200 pharmacies. In this increasingly fierce arena, online healthcare brands such as Ali Health (00241:HK), ChunYu Doctor, DingXiang Doctor, and WeDoctor are fighting for bigger share of this market.

The outbreak of the coronavirus may be a catalyst for long-term boosting in the Internet-based healthcare industry, speeding up the public education process by changing consumption behavior. Many mobile healthcare businesses will be able to seize this timing to attract new end users and stimulate individual consumption potential. For instance, Ali Health experienced more than 10 million visits on its app and 930 thousand online inquiries as of February 8. Driven by the enormous demand for online inquiry, and accelerated by the construction of the medical platform, 2020 is expected to see a significant boom in Internet healthcare.

Editor: Luke Sheehan

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