Meituan-Dianping CEO On How To Win Battle In “Second Half”

3 min read

The agenda-setting effect has been widely talked in political setting, but it fits equally well in the business world through creating prevailing commercial thoughts that could inspire new business trends.

Since 2015, Jack Ma has been touting the idea that China is progressing from an information technology era to data technology era, which underlines Alibaba’s commercial plans for the coming years.

A most recent proposition from Chinese Internet opinion leaders is “Second Half” by Wang Xing, CEO of Meituan Dianping.

Wang is a serial entrepreneur known for his shrewd opinions on China’s tech scene. His previous projects such as Xiaonei.com (aka Renren.com) and Fanfou.com have achieved different degree of success in the country. As founder and CEO of Meituan, Wang helped the company to survive the fierce group-buying battle and lead its final merger with archrival Dianping in 2015.

What does “Second Half” mean?

Wang Xing first proposed this idea at an internal meeting in early July. Like Jack Ma, he predicted that China is entering a new era, which he dubbed as the “Second Half”. But for Wang, this era not only marks a new beginning for his company or China’s O2O industry, but also for the whole country.

In a speech made at Yabuli Youth Forum in the same month, Wang further illustrated why it’s time to embrace the new period. (Wang’s speech in Chinese)

After a series of new appointments on the management level in July, Meituan-Dianping just finalized a lengthy three-quarter business and management consolidation since the merger.

Meituan-Dianping now claimed to be the third largest e-commerce platform in China, next only to Alibaba and JD. As of June this year, the company has registered over 600 million users with monthly active mobile users hitting 180 million. The connected platform has registered 20 million POIs (point of interest) and cooperates with over four million merchants.

Marked by the merger of industry leaders like Meituan-Dianping and Didi-Kuaidi-Uber China, China’s O2O industry also witnessed mass consolidation and eager to find new models to better combine online and offline resources.

From the Marco-level, demographic dividend is among the most prominent contributors to China’s economic boom. As the force of this edge weakens, the country is in the face of growth transitions so as to maintain sustainable development. Rising middle class is another driving force, but now how to avoid the middle-income trap is the question need to be addressed in the “Second Half”.

How to win the “Second Half” battle?

“Only deep integration can lead to full transition”, Wang cited a quote to illustrate his point. As an online platform, Meituan-Dianping only brings traffic to local life service providers in the past. “To offer the best service to partners, that’s not enough. Our next step is helping merchants to increase the efficiencies of their business”, said Wang.

Although the platform has attracted more customers for Chinese offline merchants, their connection with merchants stops at that level. More valuable information, such as sales and operation data, are still inaccessible.

As a move to solve this problem, Meituan-Dianping rolled out on August 29th an enterprise resources planning open platform that supports group purchasing, payment, order, shop management, reviewing and more.

Globalization and overseas expansion is another momentum for Chinese companies in the future, Wang noted. It’s difficult for new entrants to break the dominance of BAT in China’s internet market. Likewise, the same problem holds water when Chinese companies are trying to enter the global market that has been controlled by BAT of the world: Google, Amazon and Facebook.

As a latecomer of the global market, Wang thinks Chinese companies can find some reference in Huawei’s globalization strategy: high-tech service with specifically localized features. Moreover, China’s low human resources cost is another advantage over foreign competitors, he pointed out.

image credit: 360doc