Few names in China’s booming offline to online (O2O) industry pull as much weight as food delivery service Ele.me and ride-hailing giant Kuaidi Didi, and they are now discussing a possible partnership, according to local media.

Didi Kuaidi is no stranger to mergers and partnerships. The company began in 2015 when Alibaba-backed Kuaidi joined forces with Tencent-backed Didi to end a ride-hailing war and together take control of over 90% of the ride-hailing market in China, posing a formidable challenge to other entrants.

Zhu Xiaohu, Director of GSR Ventures, the company that backed Ele.me’s A series, confirmed to Chinese press that the companies were pursuing a strategic relationship, but had yet to enter formal financial discussions. Didi has confirmed that any partnership would not involve direct investment. Both startups are often singled out as super stars in China’s burgeoning O2O sector, together pinning down the largest funding rounds in their respective sectors.

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Cate Cadell

Cate is a tech writer. She worked as a journalist in Australia, Mongolia and Myanmar. You can reach her (in Chinese or English) at: @catecadell or catecadell@technode.com