New parents of IVF provider Genea aim to attract Chinese to Australia and Thailand

A Hong Kong consortium hopes to capitalise on Genea’s strong presence as Australia’s third-largest reproductive services player. It plans to create ‘superstar’ doctors on an online platform, to attract Chinese patients prepared to travel overseas for high-quality IVF services.

According to Australia Financial Review, Asian investment firm Aldworth Management, Hong Kong-listed financial services and wealth company Mason Group and Chinese health unicorn WeDoctor (which is backed by tech giant Tencent), are to buy Sydney-based Genea.

The new owners of IVF provider Genea have plans to create superstar doctors on an online platform, which they hope will lure Chinese would-be parents to Australia and Thailand for high-quality reproductive medicine services.

WeDoctor, which has 220,000 doctors and 160 million users, will play a big role in that strategy. WeDoctor chief of strategy Jeff Chen said the platform builds communities around doctors, who can promote their work and practice telemedicine on the site. Mr Chen said initial IVF consultations could be done on the platform, and later when the woman travels, they would also provide services to help though the process. “We want to be a destination for Chinese looking for IVF services,” he said. “Mid-to longer term we would like to replicate the Genea brand in China.”

The buyer consortium – which is looking to acquire an 89.5% stake in Genea – came together in May to create Hong Kong’s largest IVF company, called Reproductive Healthcare Group, via the merger of two of the largest IVF practices.

The article notes that around 12.5 to 15% of married couples will need reproductive help in China, which equates to 40 million people and increasingly, the growing middle class can afford the RMB20,000 (US$4000)-per-IVF cycle cost. The Chinese IVF market is highly regulated – it’s illegal for a woman to freeze her eggs unless she is married or has a disease that could prevent her from having children.