Alibaba Buys Ele.me
Alibaba, the giant behind the likes of Alipay, Youku Tudou and blocked-in-China South China Morning Post, have purchased Ele.Me. They haven't announced how much they're paying to buy the remaining shares they don't already own, but Ele.me's being valued at USD 9.5 billion dollars after the acquisition. For the customary "comparison to a country's entire GDP," that's equivalent to one Eritrea.
As part of the deal, Ele.Me will continue under its name and branding, but will be integrating some of its services with Alibaba's restaurant, travel, housing and generally everything service, Koubei.
It's all reportedly part of Alibaba's plan to move more into offline services.
Meanwhile, in other news, Didi Chuxing launched its own food delivery service in Wuxi last week, where it'll compete with Meituan-Dianping and Alibaba's Ele.Me, and Alibaba's AutoNavi has launched a carpooling service, which'll probably end up moving into ride-hailing to compete with Didi, in which Alibaba is also a significant investor.
Meanwhile meanwhile in other other news Meituan-Dianping also raised money for Ele.Me back in 2015, and Alibaba's the lead investor in Mobike's jaundiced competitor Ofo, which makes this straight-up Shakespeare because...
Tencent-backed Meituan-Dianping Buying Mobike?
This one's still just a rumor, but if it's true, in an attempt to become a super-provider app that does everything, Meituan-Dianping will purchase Mobike for USD 3.7 billion (one Djibouti). This hot on the heels of the expansion into ride-hailing with Meituan Dache, and in advance of their rumored USD 60 billion IPO (one point five Estonias) to maybe take place later this year.
One of Meituan-Dianping's primary investors is Tencent Holdings, which also helped raised USD 600 million (~three Marshall Islands) for Mobike in 2017.
Tencent and Alibaba: it's like the Russian Civil War, and Ele.Me and Meituan are the Cossacks, or something.
Maybe expect a lot more integration of services across the apps you already use? Maybe you get discount rides on your Mobike if you're going to a lunch deal you bought on Dianping. Maybe we'll see way more Ele.me couriers on the streets as Alibaba pumps money into it to compete with Meituan.
Big take-away, though, just in general, is to expect Meituan-Dianping to become an (even more?) omnipresent part of your life in the city.