Chinese lifestyle services giant Meituan announced this week that it would invest RMB 11 billion (around $1.7 billion) this year to help merchants upgrade their operations and drive the growth of China’s “Delivery Economy,” a term that refers to the country’s on-demand services boom.

The proceeds will be used to support merchants in their marketing efforts, digital upgrades, and supply chain services. The company will also provide awards and incentives for innovation, according to a statement provided to TechNode on Thursday.

“Ecosystem development is more important than market competition. As a delivery service platform, Meituan is willing to invest more resources to support the ecosystem growth, especially the merchants,” Wang Puzhong, senior vice president of Meituan, said in the statement.

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Emma Lee

Emma Lee is Shanghai-based tech writer, covering startups and tech happenings in China and Asia in general. We are looking for stories related to tech and China. Reach her at lixin@technode.com.