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By Han Wei / Nov 23, 2018 06:03 AM / Business & Tech

VCG

VCG

China’s on-demand service giant Meituan Dianping reported that its third quarter loss widened to 83.3 billion yuan ($12 billion) from a loss of 4.4 billion yuan a year ago, reflecting higher operating expenses amid heated competition.

Meituan, which raised $4.2 billion in an IPO in September, said its revenue rose more than 97% to 19 billion yuan in the quarter ended Sept. 30. Meituan attributed the revenue growth to expanding users and increasing transactions, mainly from its food-delivery business.

CEO Wang Xing said he is optimistic about the food service industry despite a slowing economy. He reckons food consumption fluctuates little with economic cycles. Along with the expansion of the middle class and increases in incomes, the company expects future growth in the food and beverage sector, Wang said.

Meituan has been in cut-throat battles with rivals including Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s delivery platform Ele.me and ride-hailing company Didi Chuxing.

Meituan’s shares closed up 2.26% at HK$61.05 a share Thursday, giving it a market value of about HK$290.4 billion ($37.1 billion).

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