Meituan Dianping hires outside leadership to boost growth

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A Meituan delivery person on his bike in Shanghai on March 23, 2019. (Image credit: TechNode/Shi Jiayi)

Meituan Dianping, China’s all-encompassing platform for local services, has appointed Li Shubin as vice president to oversee its giant app Meituan, Sina Finance is reporting

Why it matters: The appointment of Li, the former CEO of Chinese e-commerce site OkBuy, marks a rare case for the Chinese tech giant to hire externally to head its core business unit. The move sends a signal that the company is seeking for new changes to boost future growth.

  • While the food delivery industry is entering the “second-half era”, the sector is quickly saturating with “over 80% of the targeted users have used the services”, according to Wang Puzhong, senior vice president of Meituan Dianping.
  • Transaction volume for China’s online food delivery market in 2019 is set to expand at its lowest rate in four years, according to a report from mobile intelligence platform Trustdata.
  • Meanwhile, competition from Alibaba’s local life unit, Ele.me and Koubei, remains fierce.

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Details: Li will be the head for the Meituan app division, a unit that responsible R&D, product, and operation of the super app. The new role puts Li as the key person for driving the parent company’s growth.

  • Li Shubin will report directly to Wang Huiwen, leader of the firm’s user platform.
  • Li Ming, former head of the app, will be the executive chairman of the company’s product committee to focus on the construction of the product committee. He will continue to report to Wang Huiwen, chairman of the product committee.

Context: The Chinese O2O giant rolled out a structural reshuffle in October 2018, building its user platform, which covers the Meituan platform, the Dianping platform, and the service experience platform; as well as the LBS (location-based service) platform, which covers its bike rental and ride-hailing services.

  • The firm has launched a series of adjustments since the beginning this year to maintain robust user growth, such as integrating Meituan Bike, former Mobike, and weather tool features into the app.
  • The group’s annual transacting users grew by 14.0% to 435.8 million in the twelve months ended September 30, 2019, from 382.3 million in the same period a year ago.