Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and big data seem at odds with each other, but with the Healthy China 2030 blueprint and China’s Internet Plus action plan announced in March 2015, the ambition of Gu Sheng Tang (固生堂, GST) to integrate the two is not too far-fetched. GST’s vision is to become a central intelligence unit for Chinese medicine, mining the extensive medical data it harvested toward building a big-data-driven TCM solution.
Since inauguration in 2010, the Group has reinvented TCM’s outpatient service with its Chinese Medicine Practitioner Partner Scheme (中医师合伙人计划), enabling experienced practitioners in the public sector to enter private practice. It has also developed an institutionalized supply chain integrating procurement, processing, testing, and prescription of herbal medicine. It operates an online platform for appointment scheduling and healthcare support services. In August 2017, the company successfully raised CNY1.1bn funding. How should the company use this cash injection to optimize its business strategy to take advantage of China’s state mobilization of the Internet Plus strategy?
- To gain an understanding of China’s state planning in healthcare reform and China’s strategy to integrate IT and mobile technologies to revitalize the centuries-old practice of Chinese medicine.
- To explore the opportunities and challenges associated with institutionalizing the development of Chinese medicine under the state-mobilized Internet Plus strategy.
- To map out strategic options for growth in the given context.
- To learn how to develop a new product or service under an internet strategy.