China censored a leading health information platform

The suspension has sparked a cheering social reaction among nationalist bloggers, who accuse DXY of receiving foreign funding, denigrating traditional Chinese medicine and criticizing China’s healthcare system.

DXY is one of the leaders in the digital health startup scene in China. It hosts the largest online community that Chinese doctors use to discuss professional topics and socialize. It also provides a medical news service for a general audience and is widely regarded as the most influential popular science publication in health care.

“I don’t think anyone, as long as they’re somewhat related to the medical profession, follows these accounts. [of DXY]says Zhao Yingxi, a global health researcher and PhD student at the University of Oxford, who says he also followed DXY’s accounts on WeChat.

But in China’s increasingly polarized social media environment, healthcare is becoming a focus of controversy. The quick conclusion that DXY’s demise was triggered by his foreign connections and his critical work illustrates how politicized health topics have become.

Since its launch in 2000, DXY has raised five rounds of funding from top companies like Tencent and venture capitalists. But even that commercial success got him in trouble this week. One of its main investors, Trustbridge Partners, raises funds from sources such as Columbia University endowments and Singapore’s state-owned holding company, Temasek. After DXY’s accounts were suspended, bloggers used this fact to try to support their claim that DXY was always under foreign influence.

Part of the reason the suspension is so shocking is that DXY is widely regarded as one of the most trusted online sources for health education in China. At the start of the covid-19 pandemic, it compiled case numbers and published a case map which was updated daily, becoming the go-to source for Chinese people seeking to track covid trends in the country. DXY has also made a name for itself by removing several high-profile fraudulent healthcare products in China.

He was also not shy about addressing sensitive issues. For example, on the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia in 2019, he published the testimonies of several victims of conversion therapy and argued that the practice was not supported by medical consensus.

“The article brought the voices of survivors to the fore and did not circumvent the troubling reality that conversion therapy is still prevalent and even being pushed by public hospitals and top academics,” says Darius Longarino, senior scholar at Yale Law School’s Paul Tsai. Central China.

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