As food delivery stagnates, Swiggy and Zomato race to mimic Meituan

As food delivery stagnates, Swiggy and Zomato race to mimic Meituan

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Aditi Shrivastava

139 reads
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Aditi Shrivastava

139 reads

The two rivals are stepping up their diversification efforts to offset slowing growth in food delivery. From building core categories to opting for strategic investments, all combinations are on the table. The end goal is the same: owning intracity commerce

June 01, 2022

9 MINS READ

When it was launched in 2010, Chinese entrepreneur Wang Xing’s app, Meituan, offered users ‘deals of the day’ discounts. Five years later, it merged with Dianping, a restaurant review site. Today, Meituan Dianping, in which tech giant Tencent owns a 19% stake, is the go-to choice in China for local consumer products and services, spanning everything from dining and delivery to travel and entertainment.

It offers a range of tech-enabled services, including food delivery, restaurant reservations, express deliveries, hotel and flight bookings. It also has interests in ride-hailing, fresh produce sales and bike-sharing. Food delivery remains its biggest business, accounting for about 43% of Meituan’s revenue in the quarter ended December 2021.

Meituan’s biggest rival Ele.me also started out as a food-delivery platform. Launched in 2008 by Mark Zhang and Jack Kang, it was acquired by Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba in 2018. Since then, Ele.me has diversified into tech-enabled grocery and consumer goods delivery as part of the Alibaba group’s New Retail push.

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