Chinese food delivery giant Meituan has begun to carry out a new business strategy, focusing more on growing its retail business. The company made a few top-down organizational changes to support its new strategy, pivoting from “food plus platform” to “retail plus technology,” Chinese media LatePost reported on Wednesday. 

Why it matters: The Tencent-backed firm is seeking new growth points amid intensifying regulatory pressure. 

Details: Meituan founder and Chief Executive Officer Wang Xing announced in an internal meeting on Wednesday that the company is going to set up a special team to oversee the operation of its retail business, the new business priority for the company, LatePost reported.

  • The team includes five members, including CEO Wang Xing, Wang Puzhong and Chen Liang. The latter two are senior vice presidents overseeing the company’s home delivery and grocery delivery arms, respectively. The other two members are Guo Wanhui, the head of restaurant produce delivery platform Kuailv, and the head of Meituan app Li Shubin.
  • The company has integrated the business of Meituan Youxuan, a community grocery unit and Kuailv to increase efficiency. Chen will lead the integrated team with assistance from Guo.
  • With the move, Meituan is taking a leaf out of Amazon’s book, which created a similar D-team in 2008, a critical transitional phase for the e-commerce giant to shift to a digital giant.
  • Guo Qing, a member of the company’s senior executive team called S-team and manager of its transportation unit, is going to leave the company to work on his own startup, according to LatePost. Home delivery president Zhang Chuan reportedly will replace Guo.
  • Meituan declined to comment on the story when contacted by TechNode Friday morning.

Context: Meituan and several other Chinese tech giants have been under growing scrutiny from regulators as well as the public. Meituan was fined RMB 3.4 billion ($534 million) for anti-competitive practices earlier this month. 

  • Meituan has suffered a brain drain over the past years, with at least eight executives leaving since 2019. Senior vice president and co-founder Wang Huiwen left the company at the end of 2020.

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.