On April 28th, all official patient communication groups owned by Xiaohe Health under Beijing-based tech giant ByteDance will cease operations due to business adjustments. In February, rumors circulated that the Xiaohe Health App would be shut down. Although ByteDance denied these claims and stated that Xiaohe Health is still in operation with its team intact, it was later discovered that Douyin, TikTok’s sister app, quietly launched a trial of selling medicine through live streaming.
ByteDance quietly entered the medical field in May 2020 by acquiring a professional medical science content platform. Later that year, it acquired the online medical platform “1024” and established the Aurora Department to oversee its health business. In January 2021, ByteDance purchased Pinecone Clinic, an offline clinic institution, and invested in several other medical platforms. By August 2022, through Xiaohe Health, ByteDance had completed acquisitions of a multidisciplinary tumor consultation platform and a high-end private maternity and children’s hospital.
Initially, Xiaoho Health was the embodiment of ByteDance’s vision for medical health. It aimed to encompass all medical and health-related sections within the ByteDance system, with every new media platform serving as a traffic entry point.
A report by 36Kr suggests that the conversion rate from Douyin to Xiaohe Health is approximately 1 in 100,000. When compared to competitors such as Ping An Good Doctor, Chunyu Doctor and Good Doctor, Xiaohe Health falls short in terms of both the quantity and quality of doctors available on their platform as well as user awareness.
Furthermore, Xiaohe Health lacks official authorization to sell prescription drugs online and is limited in terms of the unit price of drugs that can be sold. It does not possess any distribution capabilities and therefore cannot emulate the medical e-commerce models employed by JD Health or Alibaba Health.