Alibaba is set to invest $1.25 billion USD into China’s most heavily funded online food delivery service,, according to a report from local business weekly, Caixin, on Friday

Alibaba will become the company’s biggest shareholder, taking on a 27.7 percent stake, according to unnamed sources cited by the report.

The potential deal would cap off a year of high-stakes investment in the on-demand industry for Alibaba. It’s also the latest merger of interests between Alibaba and long-time rival Tencent. The gaming and social giant contributed to a $350 million USD injection into, announced this August. is one of China’s most highly-touted unicorns, reaching an estimated valuation of over $3 billion USD following their August funding round.

The company received a major boost in May 2014 when leading on-demand service Dianping invested $80 million USD into the company, sharing merchant data and ordering services. Dianping has since merged with Meituan, forming another investment alliance between Alibaba and Tencent.

It’s not the only Ali-Tencent coalition that has been strategically linked with. In November CEO Zhang Xuhao confirmed to Chinese press that they had agreed on a “strategic program” with leading ride-hailing service Didi Kuaidi to roll out an Uber Eats-style service. Tencent-backed Didi and Ali-backed Kuaidi merged in early 2015, ending one of the country’s biggest on-demand rivalries.

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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

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