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Reuters: Alibaba Group Holding preparing online pharmacy powerhouse in China


SHANGHAI — Shares of Alibaba Health Information Technology nearly doubled last week after Chinese e-commerce firm Alibaba Group Holding consolidated its online pharmacy operations into the company in a deal valued at $2.5 billion, according to a Reuters report


According to the report, Alibaba Health will buy 100% of the online pharmacy operations from a wholly-owned subsidiary of Alibaba Group and another investor.


"We expect that this integration will enable Alibaba Group to build a healthcare ecosystem that can utilize e-commerce, big data and other technologies to improve the healthcare supply chain," said Daniel Zhang, Alibaba Group COO.


Reuters reported that while online pharmacies in China are currently restricted to the sale of OTC medicines, China is preparing to open its $161 billion prescription market to online pharmacy operators including Alibaba Health, and Walmart Stores. 


The deal is expected to be completed in the third quarter this year, Reuters reported.


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