BlueCity, owner of China’s largest dating app for gay men Blued, said on Tuesday that it has obtained a license for an Internet hospital in China for the brand’s health service platform.
The establishment of the He Health Internet Hospital allows BlueCity to offer a more comprehensive set of health services, including consultation on issues like erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, HIV testing and prevention, as well as drug accessibility services, the company said in a press release.
“This essentially closes a glaring gap in the field of men’s health in China, itself a sector that is expected grow significantly over the next few years,” the company said.
Doctors and medical professionals will be able to offer their expertise and advice to patients through virtual consultations on the firm’s own platform, rather than forcing BlueCity to rely on third platy platforms.
“We’re delighted to open what will be China’s first Internet hospital focused on men’s health, tapping into a budding sector that we view as a key driver in the brand’s next phase of growth,” said BlueCity’s founder and chief executive Baoli Ma, adding that He Health achieved an eightfold increase in revenue in the fourth quarter of 2020.
Since its launch in March 2019, He Health has promoted awareness of men’s health and HIV prevention to tens of millions of users in China. It sells HIV diagnostic kits, brokers consultations with doctors and works with local authorities to direct users to free testing centers.
In 2012, Ma held face-to-face discussions with now Premier Li Keqiang regarding Blued’s contributions to combating the spread of HIV in mainland China.
The company said that in the fourth quarter of 2020, BlueCity’s revenue jumped 197.6% year-on-year to 45.7 million yuan ($7 million). Monthly active users of BlueCity’s apps, which include Blued and He Health, amounted to 7.6 million people in the fourth quarter of last year, an increase of 20.3% from the same period in 2019.
Blued started as an underground LGBTQ+ online forum at Danlan.org in 2000, operated by the then 23-year-old former police officer Ma. Twenty years later in July 2020, BlueCity went public with an $85 million debut on Nasdaq valuing the platform at $614 million. A month later, it bought Chinese lesbian dating app LESDO, and in November it acquired Finka, a social networking app for younger gay men.
According to a report by business consulting firm Frost and Sullivan, the scale of China’s online healthcare consultation sector, as well as its online prescriptions and pharmacy market, is expected to reach 523 billion yuan by 2025.
Notably, the report stated that the size of the men’s health and healthcare market in China is expected to reach 99.6 billion yuan by the same year.