Photo credit: ygai / 123RF.
One of China’s biggest and best-funded tech startups has secured US$4 billion in a new round of investment to grow its local services empire, which includes food delivery and daily deals.
Meituan-Dianping, which had already accumulated US$3.3 billion in funding before today’s injection, claims it has “the largest service-focused ecommerce platform in China.”
This latest funding round was led by Tencent, Chinese tech giant and maker of WeChat.
In a number of aspects, the startup is an arch-rival to Alibaba’s growing ambitions with localized ecommerce. Alibaba set up its Koubei division in 2015 with US$1 billion in backing in order to focus on that niche, and earlier this year the online shopping giant ploughed in a further US$1.1 billion.
Meituan-Dianping is also battling a wide variety of other apps, such as Ele.me, the top service devoted just to speedy meal deliveries. Alibaba has invested over US$2 billion in Ele.me.
CEO Wang Xing says that Meituan-Dianping “is leading a major transformation of China’s traditional services industry” by connecting them to shoppers through their apps. “Customers are able to access various types of services, from restaurant reservations to on-demand delivery, hotel and travel bookings, and entertainment, all through a single mobile application.”
The firm is the result of a 2015 merger between two sites, Dianping and Meituan. Both continue to operate under their separate brands.
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Editing by Malavika Velayanikal
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Steven’s interested in ecommerce, mobile, smartphone adoption, gadgets, social media, transportation, and cars. If you have any tips or feedback, contact him on Twitter: @sirsteven