Merck and Tencent announce collaboration on intelligent digital healthcare services in China

MerckMerck, a leading science and technology company, signed a strategic collaboration agreement with Tencent, a leading provider of Internet value added services. The collaboration will primarily focus on increasing public disease awareness and providing more accessible healthcare services via digital platforms in China, by leveraging the company's scientific leadership and expertise combined with Tencent's leading technology in the fields of internet and artificial intelligence.

"In this collaboration with Tencent, we will jointly explore the innovative combination of patient-centric healthcare management and digital platforms, which brings us one step closer to reaching our mission of transforming the lives of 40 million patients in China by 2025," said Rogier Janssens, Managing Director and General Manager of Merck's Biopharma Business in China. "The Healthcare Business of Merck in China is committed to developing a multi-dimensional intelligent medical ecosystem together with more cross-industry partners for the benefit of patients."

"Tencent launched a major strategic upgrade in 2018. While we continue to stay committed to Consumer-Based Internet, we are also actively embracing Industrial Internet, with the healthcare field being an important focus." Zhang Meng, Vice President of Tencent Medical said, "We want to build on advanced internet platforms and artificial intelligence, big data, and cloud computing capabilities, and work with partners to make healthcare in China more convenient and efficient for all patients."

With the agreement, Merck and Tencent will create intelligent digital healthcare services, thereby increasing public knowledge of diseases and improving patients' understanding of disease symptoms and effective treatment options. The collaboration will also provide patients with more convenient and smarter medical services, helping to better manage chronic diseases.

The focus areas will include all treatment areas of Merck's Healthcare business in China: in allergies, Merck and Tencent will explore digital services that increase the awareness of allergy symptoms and encourage adherence to treatment plans; in the area of infertility, the collaboration will work to enhance awareness of disease and treatment options and help patients who are in need of fertility resources to shorten the process of medical treatment. The two companies will also focus on diabetes, thyroid disorders and cardiovascular diseases, as well as oncology such as metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC).

In the future, Merck and Tencent will continue to extend the scope of collaboration to other areas such as exploring the use of innovative medical service models based on "A.I. doctors" to provide more comprehensive disease awareness education and treatment services for mCRC and other diseases.

Leveraging the collaboration with Tencent at the beginning of 2019, Merck is driving digitalization, an integral part of Merck's strategy in China. With big data insights, new platforms and partnerships, Merck will adopt a more integrated approach to contribute to the key goals of the national "Healthy China 2030" blueprint and to safeguard the health of all Chinese citizens.

About Merck

Merck, a vibrant science and technology company, operates across healthcare, life science and performance materials. Around 51,000 employees work to make a positive difference to millions of people’s lives every day by creating more joyful and sustainable ways to live. From advancing gene editing technologies and discovering unique ways to treat the most challenging diseases to enabling the intelligence of devices - Merck is everywhere. In 2017, Merck generated sales of € 15.3 billion in 66 countries.

Scientific exploration and responsible entrepreneurship have been key to Merck’s technological and scientific advances. This is how Merck has thrived since its founding in 1668. The founding family remains the majority owner of the publicly listed company. Merck holds the global rights to the Merck name and brand. The only exceptions are the United States and Canada, where the business sectors of Merck operate as EMD Serono in healthcare, MilliporeSigma in life science, and EMD Performance Materials.

About Tencent

Tencent uses technology to enrich the lives of Internet users. Our social products Weixin and QQ link our users to a rich digital content catalogue including games, video, music and books. Our proprietary targeting technology helps advertisers reach out to hundreds of millions of consumers in China. Our infrastructure services including payment, security, cloud and artificial intelligence create differentiated offerings and support our partners’ business growth. Tencent invests heavily in people and innovation, enabling us to evolve with the Internet. Tencent was founded in Shenzhen, China, in 1998. Shares of Tencent (00700.HK) are traded on the Main Board of the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong.

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