May 07, 2019 09:01 PM

Meituan Dianping's Delivery Unit to Seek Income Streams Beyond Takeout

A Meituan delivery driver in Chongqing on April 10. Photo: IC Photo
A Meituan delivery driver in Chongqing on April 10. Photo: IC Photo

Meituan Dianping said it will offer its delivery services to more customers and industries under the brand “Meituan Delivery,” as the money-losing business hustles to find new income streams.

"The extension and opening of Meituan’s delivery network will help establish a more flexible delivery platform by customizing services for different industries, upgrading our delivery dispatch system, and improving delivery infrastructure," said Meituan Senior Vice President Wang Puzhong in a statement on Monday.

Meituan’s delivery unit has traditionally focused on takeout food delivery services. The change will encourage it to seek customers outside the takeout industry, amid fierce competition from food delivery rivals and significant losses from Meituan’s cash-burning bike-share business.

Meituan’s food delivery unit contributed almost 60% of revenues last year. But the company’s newly acquired Mobike bike-sharing unit accounted for more than half of its losses for the same period. Meituan posted a net loss of 8.5 billion yuan ($1.26 billion) last year, up nearly threefold on 2.85 billion yuan in 2017.

The leading Chinese group discount platform launched food delivery services in 2015 on an app which has since expanded to areas such as reservation bookings and business reviews. In 2016, it added in-city delivery services to the portfolio.

It now boasts more than 600,000 active daily riders and 25 million daily food delivery orders, and says it serves more than 3.6 million merchants and 400 million people in China. Its rival Eleme Inc. said it had 670,000 riders and 3.5 million merchants as of the end of 2018.

Another big player, Dada-JD Daojia, the delivery and grocery e-commerce unit of Inc., secured a $500 million fundraising round from its parent company and U.S. supermarket chain Walmart Inc. in August last year.

A previous version of this story mistakenly referred to Meituan Dianping’s change to its delivery unit as a spin-off. It was not.

Contact reporter Tang Ziyi (

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