Saudi-backed health app ends China deal, focuses on US growth

SourceArabian Business
CountrySaudi Arabia

UK-based mobile medical consultation service Babylon Healthcare, which received a cash injection of $550 million led by Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund in 2019, has pulled back from China after ending a partnership with Tencent Holdings' WeChat. The company “couldn’t come up with a commercially viable model,” said CEO Ali Parsa said, adding in an interview with Bloomberg: "The Chinese government and the Chinese partners insist on them taking most of the shares of any partnerships. I don’t think the balance is right at the moment.” The investment from new investors - such as Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund - values the company at more than $2 billion A representative for Tencent confirmed that it no longer has a partnership with Babylon and declined to comment further. Tencent backs a competing service, WeDoctor, whose business spans insurance policies, medical supplies and online-appointment booking. Babylon’s app lets users schedule a video chat with a doctor, check symptoms or book time with specialists, such as therapists. more...