The world’s largest cooked food delivery service provider Meituan-Dianping starts delivering fresh produce in Beijing via a separate app called Meituan Vegetable Buy, KrAsia learned Tuesday from one of the app’s customer employees.
This indicates Meituan’s further exploration in a segmented area, which has already been crowded with e-commerce giant Alibaba and JD.com.
This move is also in line with Meituan Dianping’s plan to “further expand food delivery service categories and consumption scenarios” to keep its upper hand in its core food delivery business, as what it said in its latest financial statement. The company booked an adjusted net loss of RMB 8.5 billion (US$1.27 billion) in 2018 due to significant investments in new initiatives such as bike sharing and ride-hailing.
Meituan Vegetable Buy, which is not available inside the Meituan App so that one needs to download the app first, was opened this January only to a community in Shanghai.
The app’s customer service employee KrAsia contacted confirmed that Meituan Vegetable Buy was opened Tuesday to residents in two communities in Beijing temporarily but could not name which areas.
China News Service said these two communities are densely-populated Tiantongyuan and Beiyuan communities in Beijing. Residents there can get vegetables, meat and seasonings delivered within as short as half an hour. Information on this app indicates some vegetables are sourced from farms in the outskirts of Beijing.
Actually since April 2015, JD Daojia, an app both available inside the app of JD.com and separately on its own, has been allowing residents in more than 450 Chinese cities to get vegetables and meat delivered within one hour. These stuff are picked from more than 100,000 bricks-and-mortar stores that JD.com has partnered with, including those of Walmart, Yonghui, and Carrefour.
Tmall Supermarket also announced Monday that it would shorten its fresh produce delivery time from one day to one hour starting April and that it aimed to cover 300 million Chinese households within two years.
Before launching this new app, inside Meituan App, there is a function featuring vegetables and fruits delivery, which is a cooperation with bricks-and-mortar stores. However, Meituan Dianping did not share information on how this business run in the fiscal year 2018.