Date
21 July 2017
Chunyu Doctor founder Zhang Rui revealed last October that he had been suffering from sleeplessness and other health issues due to immense funding pressures. Photo: Xinhua
Chunyu Doctor founder Zhang Rui revealed last October that he had been suffering from sleeplessness and other health issues due to immense funding pressures. Photo: Xinhua

Medical app faces uncertain future after founder’s death

Chunyu Doctor is a leading mainland medical app with 92 million active users and nearly 500,000 registered doctors on its platform.

The app offers various services including free or fee-based medical consultations, appointment bookings and health tips.

Mainlanders often have to line up overnight or pay exorbitant fees to scalpers to book appointments at leading hospitals. A primary goal of Chunyun Doctor is to solve this chronic problem.

Sadly, founder Zhang Rui died from a heart attack on Oct. 6.

He had earlier revealed to the public that he had been suffering from sleeplessness and other health issues due to immense pressure concerning the funding of his startup.

Valued at US$1.2 billion, the company is still in the process of burning money to build its business.

Zhang had been constantly worried about the lack of capital to sustain its operations.

Chunyu Doctor’s case reflects the harsh environment under which many mainland startups operate these days.

Following several years of funding spree, investors have turned cautious toward startups since the second half of last year amid numerous concerns.

First of all, there are simply too many startups. Secondly, over 99 percent of them have remained unprofitable.

Even for those who manage to survive, they face an uphill challenge to successfully list themselves amid lackluster market sentiment towards Chinese firms in Hong Kong and the United States.

It’s been reported that Chunyu Doctor was preparing for a listing in June via a reverse merger with an A-share company.

However, on the same month, the nation’s securities regulator tightened its policy on such backdoor listings.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Oct. 14

Translation by Julie Zhu

[Chinese version 中文版]

– Contact us at [email protected]

CG

Hong Kong Economic Journal columnist

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