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MarketScreener Homepage  >  Equities  >  Hong Kong Stock Exchange  >  Tencent Holdings Limited    700   KYG875721634

TENCENT HOLDINGS LIMITED

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Exclusive: Baidu, investors in talks to raise $2 billion for biotech startup - source

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09/09/2020 | 05:03am EDT
FILE PHOTO: Wworker wearing a face mask cleans the floor, near a Baidu AI robot which shows a face mask on its screen, at Baidu's headquarters in Beijing

Chinese tech giant Baidu is in talks with investors to raise up to $2 billion over three years for a biotech startup, which will use AI technology to discover new drugs and diagnose diseases, a person with direct knowledge of the matter said.

A second person confirmed the startup plan.

Baidu is unlikely to be the controlling investor, the first person said. Both sources spoke on condition of anonymity, adding they did not have more details on the investment as talks were still under way.

Baidu's plans come at a time of increased investment in the healthcare sector since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, with many companies expanding into online diagnosis options to fill the gaps left by overstretched, overcrowded hospitals.

WeDoctor, backed by Tencent, Alibaba's healthcare arm and Ping An Good Doctor have joined the fray to develop apps that offer diagnosis, prescriptions, appointment bookings, 1-hour drug delivery and insurance.

But the startup under discussion plans to focus more on such areas as drug discovery and development, and early tumor diagnosis, by mobilizing Baidu's powerful artificial intelligence (AI) technology that can perform complex computing to produce biological innovations, the sources said.

The name of the startup has not been decided, but Baidu came up with the idea as early as six months ago, one of the sources said, adding that Baidu founder and Chairman Robin Li has been personally involved in the project.

Baidu declined to comment.

Baidu open-sourced its Ribonucleic acid (RNA) prediction algorithm LinearFold this year. The tool aims to accelerate the prediction time of a virus' RNA secondary structure, which is crucial to understand a virus and develop vaccines.

The healthcare industry, especially biotechnology, has seen a flood of money flow in amid the scramble for a COVID-19 vaccine and governments seeking to fix their health systems.

The Hang Seng Healthcare Index has surged about 40% over the past five months, outstripping the Hang Seng that edged up more than 6% over the time.

By Yingzhi Yang and Brenda Goh


Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
BAIDU, INC. -1.47% 132.86 Delayed Quote.5.11%
HANG SENG 0.03% 24779.34 Real-time Quote.-12.10%
PING AN HEALTHCARE AND TECHNOLOGY COMPANY LIMITED -0.29% 102.6 End-of-day quote.80.47%
TENCENT HOLDINGS LIMITED -0.53% 563.5 End-of-day quote.50.03%
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Financials
Sales 2020 479 B 71 629 M 71 629 M
Net income 2020 120 B 18 031 M 18 031 M
Net cash 2020 85 854 M 12 848 M 12 848 M
P/E ratio 2020 45,1x
Yield 2020 0,23%
Capitalization 5 361 B 692 B 802 B
EV / Sales 2020 11,0x
EV / Sales 2021 8,86x
Nbr of Employees 70 756
Free-Float 60,4%
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Mean consensus BUY
Number of Analysts 48
Average target price 534,02 CNY
Last Close Price 563,50 CNY
Spread / Highest target 23,9%
Spread / Average Target -5,23%
Spread / Lowest Target -37,3%
EPS Revisions
Managers
NameTitle
Hua Teng Ma Executive Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
Chi Ping Lau President & Executive Director
Yu Xin Ren COO & President-Interactive Entertainment Group
Shek Hon Lo Chief Financial Officer & Senior Vice President
Chen Ye Xu Chief Information Officer
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