China’s Tencent to Develop Blockchain Medical Tools With Waterdrop After Investment

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Chinese internet giant Tencent will work with a local disruptor insurance company to develop new blockchain solutions, Bloomberg reported on April 30.

Waterdrop, which forms part of China’s rapidly-expanding crowdfunded health insurance industry, will leverage Tencent’s existing presence and experience in the field to create as yet undefined blockchain tools.

The move follows the closure of Waterdrop’s Series B funding round in March, led by Tencent, which raised 500 million yuan ($74.2 million).

At the same time, the company is looking for fresh financing, Bloomberg revealed, along with seeking a valuation of at least $1 billion.

“The company will spend the money on automating reimbursements and developing blockchain technology with Tencent,” the publication references founder and CEO Shen Peng as saying.

Crowdfunded medical insurance works on the principle of users contributing to the critical needs of others, with platforms designed for maximum payouts of around 300,000 yuan ($44,500).

Along with Tencent, fellow internet behemoth and Alipay owner, Ant Financial, is already involved in the industry through its Xiang Hu Bao offering. The competitor, Bloomberg says, hopes to sign up 300 million Chinese residents by 2021.

For its part, Tencent’s blockchain experience now spans several years and includes activities in various sectors of the economy such as transport, along with a bespoke blockchain transaction network.

The firm became one of the first roughly 200 to gain official approval from the Chinese government in April as part of efforts to formalize the space.