Jeremy Steinberg
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Jack Ma's Alibaba partners with Chinese medical giant

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. BABA, -0.84% founder Jack Ma has made a new move into China's state-dominated health-care system, forming a partnership with one of China's largest drug makers to boost online pharmaceutical sales and investing millions in the firm, the two companies said Wednesday. Guangzhou Baiyunshan Pharmaceutical Holdings Co., a listed subsidiary of a state-owned firm, has established a strategic cooperation deal with Alibaba Health Information Technology Ltd., a separately listed unit of Alibaba, to boost its medical-product sales and service over the Internet, Guangzhou Baiyunshan said on its website Wednesday. Guangzhou Baiyunshan -- known as the maker of China's first generic version of Viagra -- also announced a 10-billion-yuan ($1.6 billion) private share-placement plan, with investors including Yunfeng Capital, which was co-founded by Ma, and an investment fund co-established by China Life Insurance Co. 2628, -0.33% LFC, +0.72% and the Guangzhou government. Yunfeng Capital would purchase 500 million yuan worth of shares, an earlier statement from the company had said late Monday. Shares of Alibaba Health 0241, +2.57% spiked 6.7% in Hong Kong. Guangzhou Baiyunshan 600332, +1.11% 0874, -4.31% also rose 1.5% in Shanghai, but its H-shares 0874, -4.31% fell 3.6%. Also Wednesday, various reports also said Alibaba had confirmed buying a controlling stake in Chinese digital-advertising platform AdChina to improve its online marketing business.

Laura He