Meituan hires game developers, downplays foray into gamification

1 min read
Image credit: Meituan

Chinese O2O giant Meituan-Dianping has begun posting job listings for game developers, prompting speculation that it is looking to integrate gaming into its existing services.

The food-delivery titan posted the ads on China’s top online recruitment platforms. It seeks to employ Beijing-based personnel for a variety of positions including game engineers, game planners, visual designers, and test engineers, according to listings on recruitment platform Lagou.

Differing from its high-profile entry into the ride-hailing market, Meituan has attempted to downplay its foray into gaming. Wang Huiwen, senior vice president of Meituan, responded to queries from a Chinese tech reporter on WeChat’s News Feed-like feature, Moments, saying he just wants to give the gaming industry a try. “Don’t overthink it,” he added.

Meituan declined TechNode’s request for comment.

Development and maintenance of game servers for Meituan app are listed as a major responsibility for several positions. The firm is building a team that includes both senior and junior positions, with salaries ranging from RMB 15, 000 (around $2,200) to RMB 60,000 per month.

Listings on recruitment platform Lagou showing the available positions. (Image credit: Lagou)

Meituan’s recruiting plan, which bucks the on-going lay-off trend in China’s tech circles, has raised questions about how the company will use gaming to enhance its products and services.

Gamification of online experiences could increase the user stickiness of Meituan’s services. More importantly, however, integration of gaming elements could increase the revenue of the Hong Kong-listed firm, which reported a net loss of around RMB 2.5 billion in the third quarter of 2018. China’s gaming revenue jumped 5% year-on-year to RMB 214 billion in 2018, accounting for nearly 35% of the global market, according to data from the 2018 China Gaming Industry Report.