Recently, Baike Mingyi, which was fully acquired by ByteDance, has ceased operations. Almost all of the original five co-founders and team members of Baike Mingyi have resigned, with only a few remaining in positions within the ByteDance system to participate in tasks such as reviewing medical content for Douyin.
Several founders of Baike Mingyi have either moved abroad, become LPs in a well-known venture capital fund, or started their own businesses again. When you open the official website of Baike Mingyi, there is only a one-screen text version introduction left on the page.
According to the information, in 2020, ByteDance acquired Baike Mingyi website for 500 million yuan (approximatly ＄70 million) and officially opened the door to internet healthcare. Six months later, ByteDance’s medical and health business brand “Xiaohe Medical” was officially unveiled, along with the release of the patient-oriented “Xiaohe Health APP” and the doctor-oriented “Xiaohe Doctor”.
In January 2021, ByteDance acquired the offline clinic brand Pinecone Clinic and renamed it Xiaohe Clinic. From September 2021 to September 2022, ByteDance successively invested in the mental health service platform Haoxinqing, the high-end private children’s medical institution Amcare, the laboratory automation system supplier Shanghai x-imaging, and the new drug research and development platform Shuimu BioSciences.
In February 2023, ByteDance’s subsidiary Xiaohe Health APP was shut down, and its related functions were taken over by the Xiaohe Health Douyin mini-program. It is also understood that the Aurora department behind the Xiaohe Health brand has been integrated into Douyin as a whole, with Wu Haifeng, the head of Aurora, still reporting to Liang Rubo. Currently, some members of the technical and operations team responsible for running the Xiaohe Health APP have resigned, while the Xiaohe Medical Dictionary team remains intact.
In addition, Douyin has been trying to open up the path of drug sales since 2023. At the beginning of 2023, Douyin took the lead in experimenting with OTC live selling of drugs, which attracted strong attention from the industry. However, it was soon reported in April that the results of testing live drug sales were mediocre, especially after the implementation of the new Internet Advertising Management Measures on May 1st, which clearly listed prohibited areas and red lines for internet advertising. As a result, Douyin suspended live drug sales.
Subsequently, Douyin entered the field of pharmaceutical e-commerce. In August 2023, Douyin released an updated version of the “Drug Category Management Specification,” lowering the minimum requirements for setting up exclusive stores. This is a signal that Douyin is increasing its sales of over-the-counter drugs. On January 4, 2024, Douyin’s e-commerce platform publicly launched two announcements related to prescription drugs: “Prescription Drug Category Management Specification” and “List of Prescription Drug Access Brands.” Currently, it has not been fully opened up but rather through targeted invitations.