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在线翻译:
szdaily -> Business
Tencent’s team getting upper hand in food fight
    2017-August-24  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

IN a takeout delivery fight between China’s web giants, Tencent shows to be the strongest, analysts say.

Food delivery service provider Ele.me, which is backed by Alibaba, has merged with Baidu’s food and beverage delivery service Baidu Waimai, domestic media has reported.

The deal is valued at around US$500 million and is funded by a combination of cash and equity, The 21 Century Business Herald reported yesterday, citing unnamed sources close to the matter.

The possible merger could be another step in the ongoing battle between Internet giants Alibaba and Tencent. The merger, however, will nonetheless struggle to unseat the Tencent-backed Meituan-Dianping, which 86Research says is now the market leader.

The Internet trio of China have been competing to connect smartphone users with neighborhood services such as taxis and cinema tickets. Ordering meals online is the next front line — industry revenue is due to reach 300 billion yuan (US$45 billion) in 2018, more than double last year, said Meituan-Dianping. Internet consultancy iResearch said in a report that the online-to-offline market size of the sector is expected to surge 76 percent from a year ago to 978 billion yuan (US$144 billion) by the end of 2017.

Ele.me is backed by Alibaba and its financial service affiliate Ant Financial and local service unit Koubei, while Tencent backs Meituan-Dianping.

Combined, Alibaba’s Ele.me and Baidu’s Waimai would have about 50 percent market share, putting them roughly on par with Meituan-Dianping, said 86Research’s Wang Xiaoyan.

But Meituan-Dianping is in a stronger position, Wang said. Integrating two workforces and technology platforms could distract Ele.me, and prompt restaurants and delivery drivers to defect to Meituan-Dianping. The latter also has a built-in advantage in its ties to Tencent’s WeChat, the phenomenally popular chat app, Wang said.

The takeout delivery industry has seen an expensive subsidy war but investors say this is already abating.

Meituan-Dianping is reportedly raising as much as US$5 billion at a valuation of up to US$30 billion. About US$1 billion of the new funds would come from an additional investment from Tencent.

Meituan-Dianping, which has 200 million monthly active users, opened its first offline concept store last month, where consumers can go and buy grocery items and seafood using the company’s app.

It also looks to expand its base of strategic partners and invest in backend technology, small-scale ride-hailing services as well as in the travel ticketing business.

(SD-Agencies)

 

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