A week after China’s leading O2O and e-commerce platform Meituan announced that “Meituan Dache (美团打车)” will be launching in Beijing on January 12, Municipal Commission of Transportation said “Meituan Dache” is not yet in accordance with the municipal law to apply for ride-hailing business, and has not obtained related business qualification yet, Chinese media Tencent News is reporting. 

According to the “Opinions from the General Office of the State Council on Deepening Reform and Promoting the Healthy Development of Taxi Industry” (our translation, 国务院办公厅关于深化改革推进出租汽车行业健康发展的指导意见), ride hailing business services should go through relevant permit procedures in the city. The municipal department in charge of transportation spoke to Meituan’s relevant person in charge and claimed that the company should operate the following service in accordance with laws and regulations in Beijing.

Meituan Dache’s official Weibo account has not responded to the matter yet. Meituan Dache Weibo account, established on July 2017, was used as a platform to push the subsidies to its over 11,000 followers.

Meituan Dache’s Weibo explaining how to use free ride coupons on Meituan (Image Credit: Meituan Dache Weibo)

This comes just two days before launch. Meituan, who was busy pushing subsidies to its users to battle Didi, would have to make sure their service abides by the rule. Didi has been dominating the taxi hailing market, since it acquired Uber’s China operations in August 2016.

With bigger ambition to find next revenue source, TMD (Toutiao, Meituan, and Didi Chuxing), the new BAT, are now crossing the boundary of their proprietary businesses. While O2O service Meituan is getting into taxi-hailing, ride-hailing company Didi is getting into bike rental service after Bluegogo tie-up, and AI-powered news aggregation app Jinri Toutiao is getting into payment service after acquiring online payment license.

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Eva Yoo

Eva Yoo is Shanghai-based tech writer. Reach her at evayoo@technode.com

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