ANNOUNCEMENT 04 Apr 2019
The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States obliged Shenzhen-based iCarbonX to divest itself of PatientsLikeMe.
NUMBER OF INTERVENTIONS
Note that actions taken by CFIUS (https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/international/the-committee-on-foreign-investment-in-the-united-states-cfius) are generally not formally announced. This measure is based upon information published by the press in https://www.cnbc.com/2019/06/24/unitedhealth-buys-patientslikeme-after-cfius-forced-sale.html and https://www.corporatecomplianceinsights.com/cfius-flexes-new-muscles-where-customer-data-and-critical-technology-are-involved/ and https://www.cnbc.com/2019/04/04/cfius-forces-patientslikeme-into-fire-sale-booting-chinese-investor.html
On June 24, 2019 UnitedHealth Group purchased the health-tech start-up company PatientsLikeMe, a firm that the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) obliged to seek out a new buyer because it had been majority-owned by Chinese interests. PatientsLikeMe assists patients in finding people with similar health conditions, leading to government concerns over the handling of sensitive personal information; this case is thus similar to the concerns that led CFIUS to require that a Chinese firm divest itself of the Grindr gay-dating app. PatientsLikeMe had sold a majority stake in 2017 to Shenzhen-based iCarbonX, itself associated with the larger Chinese firm Tencent. That deal came under the purview of the CFIUS, which reviews investments for which national security and trade secrets are alleged to be at risk. The decision by which the divestment was ordered reportedly dates to April 4, 2019.