AlibabaAlibaba said it has agreed to invest in Citic 21CN, a data and content service provider whose business includes managing data on pharmaceutical products.  In a statement Thursday, Alibaba said it and Yundeng Capital will jointly invest a total of $170 million in Citic 21CN to take a 54.3% stake in the company.  Of that stake, Alibaba will hold 38.1%.

Alibaba said its cloud-computing business unit, which collects and manages the back-end data from its e-commerce and payment operations, could work together with Citic 21CN to build a data platform for pharmaceutical products.

Tmall, the online shopping site operated by Alibaba, currently hosts storefronts for 80 major Chinese drugstore chains.