Medical Crowdfunding Platform Waterdrop Responds to Reports of 70% Fees

Regarding reports that “the crowdfunding fee deducted by intermediaries on Waterdrop reaches as high as 70%,” Chinese medical treatment crowdfunding platform Waterdrop responded on August 21 that the so-called intermediaries were operated by some malicious third-party commercial organizations engaged in improper fundraising services. The company resolutely resists such behavior and will crack down on actions that do harm to its users and the brand.

According to the statement, on June 17, Waterdrop and another medical treatment crowdfunding platform Qingsongchou issued a joint statement to jointly crack down on illegal behaviors that impersonate the platform to collect “promotion fees.” On June 28, Waterdrop stated that the illegal crowdfunding intermediaries have seriously affected the image of the serious illness treatment fundraising industry. These intermediaries often charge 30% to 70% of the total raised funds, infringing on the rights and interests of fundraisers and donors, as well as constituting an illegal act.

Last week, in response to the problem of “grey production” of crowdfunding intermediaries, Waterdrop disclosed data on its efforts to combat malicious promotion for the first time. Data show that the platform has monitored more than 800 cases of malicious promotion and has controlled more than 600 user accounts involved in malicious promotion. The proportion of these fundraising intermediaries is as high as 30% to 70%.

Waterdrop, established in 2016, is one of the largest fundraising platforms for serious illness in China. According to data from the platform, from July 2016 to the end of March this year, the accumulated fundraising of Waterdrop was about 50.9 billion yuan ($7.46 billion), serving nearly 2.5 million critically ill patients and families, with more than 403 million donations involving nearly 1.7 billion people.

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Waterdrop stands out from many online medical treatment fundraising platforms, as the key of the platform is its concept of zero service fees. However, in April this year, its charging policy was uniformly implemented in the whole country, and the fundraisers will now be charged 3.6% by the platform, of which 3% is the platform service fee, with a maximum amount of one single fundraising project of 5,000 yuan. The remaining 0.6% is the payment channel fee given to the third-party payment platforms.