Walmart's Yhd.com Acquires First Ecommerce Drug License in China

Source: China Daily, Thursday, Aug 21, 2014

After participating in a pilot program in late July, Walmart owned Yhd.com (formerly Yihaodian) has become the first company to receive official permission to sell over-the-counter drugs online in China. More than 10 pharmaceutical retailers have already set up stores on Yhd's platform, and Yhd hopes to add another 50 retailers by the end of the year. 

Yhd, which currently has 60 million registered users, was only able to sell a limited selection of health and beauty care products prior to approval from China's FDA to sell OTC drugs. Now, Yhd has set a goal to provide over 200,000 OTC drugs by the end of the year. 

In acquiring the first license of its kind, Yhd holds a competitive advantage over other ecommerce players in China looking to tap into the new market. Importantly, it will have time to build trustworthy relationships with consumers and suppliers alike without any competition. Yhd can use the head start as ecommerce giants with established distribution channels like JD.com are already in the middle of the application process to sell drugs. As of yet, the license does not permit retail of prescription drugs, which is the largest  sector of the pharmaceutical market in China.