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[Updated]: Has Mealbay Gone Out of Business?

Jan 10, 2018 | 20:47 Wed
It’s still speculation but it appears that delivery service Mealbay, which we once called the Jan Brady of food delivery services, has gone out of business. You know, the one that’s not Sherpas or Eleme or Meituan. Mealbay. The website has disappeared. The phone number has been disconnected. Partner restaurants that we contacted said “something is wrong” with Mealbay and suggested we use Sherpa’s instead.

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If it’s true, and if our understanding is correct, the real loser here is not the customer, but all the partner restaurants. The business model, as we understand it, was for Mealbay to collect funds from the customer — basically take all the money — and then hold on to it until the end of the month, when they did the accounting and disbursements. So, the worst case scenario here is that, being the middle of the month, the company has pulled a runner with any money collected since the last round of pay-outs, which is potentially tens of thousands of RMB. Only a possibility — not a fact! — but they wouldn’t be the first company in China to do this. Again, speculation, but it also seems like a good bet that Yum!’s backing of Sherpas just made the orange army too strong to fight, and Mealbay succumbed.

More to the story as it develops.

[Update]: SmartShanghai managed to get in touch with Mealbay and they've confirmed that they've shuttered their business. They declined to comment further.

TELL EVERYONE

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