Meituan faces a profit squeeze as Chinese regulators order platforms to cut fees to help small businesses. Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is exploring rival JD.com’s direct sales model, one that Alibaba’s billionaire founder and former chief executive Jack Ma predicted would become “a tragedy in the future” in 2015. China’s Craiglist, 58.com, came under public scrutiny for recommending fake jobs to a user who was later trafficked to Cambodia as a “blood slave”. Kuaishou planned to block links to Alibaba and JD.com while building its own e-commerce business. Tencent closed social group-buy mini-program Xiao’e Pinpin, while ByteDance pulled the plug on a Shein-like fashion site just three months after its launch.

Meituan faces regulatory headwinds

News: Chinese on-demand delivery platforms, led by Meituan and Ele.me, are facing regulatory headwinds for monetizing the services they provide. Fourteen Chinese authorities, including the National Development and Reform Commission, issued a new guideline that requires goods delivery platforms to cut fees for restaurants. The guideline involves supporting policies for various service industries from catering and restaurants, to retail, tourist travel, and transportation. It’s designed to lower the operation costs for merchants who have been hit by pandemic prevention measures, according to a statement announced Feb. 18. Shares of Chinese life services app Meituan fell more than 15% on the news.

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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.