Alibaba, Yunfeng to invest $170 million in drug data project

BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba Group said on Thursday it would help fund a pharmaceutical information platform being developed by CITIC 21CN Co., a subsidiary of CITIC Group.

Alibaba Group and Yunfeng, a private equity firm founded by Alibaba Chairman Ma Yun, will subscribe for US$170 million of new shares in CITIC 21CN and take a 54.3 percent stake in the company.

The goal is to channel CITIC 21CN's vast pool of pharmaceutical product data into Alibaba's e-commerce, cloud computing and big data systems to win new business.

Alibaba's business-to-consumer platform, Tmall.com, already hosts e-stores from more than 80 drugstore chains.

The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences estimates that China's pharmaceutical market exceeded 1 trillion yuan in 2013 and may top 2.3 trillion yuan by 2020.

(Reporting by Chen Aizhu; editing by Tom Pfeiffer)

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