Tencent to adapt WebMD content to Chinese consumers

HONG KONG — China’s Tencent Holdings Ltd. has struck a deal to provide WebMD’s health-care content to the more than 1 billion users on its WeChat social network, according to both companies.

The content-licensing deal includes WebMD articles, videos and slideshows covering medical and health topics, such as the side effects of chemotherapy or the symptoms of appendicitis. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

WebMD, which is owned by private-equity firm KKR & Co. KKR, +0.26%  and based in New York, said the deal will raise the quality of health-care information available to Chinese consumers. The content, slated to be rolled out by year’s end, will also be available on Tencent’s 0700, +1.02%  QQ messaging app.

Health care is a big — and growing — business in China, which is forecast to spend $1 trillion on health care by 2020, according to a report from McKinsey & Co. Its aging population is increasingly dealing with chronic conditions such as diabetes, but the health-care system doesn’t have enough general family doctors who can direct patients to the right treatments and specialists, said Philip Leung, head of the Greater China Healthcare practice for consulting firm Bain & Co.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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