Daily Management Review

China launches investigation into the country's largest online food delivery service


China's State Administration of Market Regulation (SAMR) announced that it has launched an antitrust investigation into the country's largest online food delivery service, Meituan.

In a statement, SAMR said the investigation focuses on the so-called "pick one or two" practice, in which the company forces sellers to use only its platform, and other suspicions of monopoly power against Meituan.

The investigation into Meituan is yet another recent action by Chinese authorities against local technology corporations. A few weeks ago, SAMR fined Alibaba a record $2.8 billion - it was accused of abusing its market position and forcing consumers to use its services "without choice". 

Soon after, the department issued a warning to 34 of the country's leading tech companies, including Tencent, ByteDance, Baidu and Meituan, demanding that they eliminate "anti-competitive practices" within a month to avoid "a repeat of the Alibaba situation".

Meituan was established in 2010. While its biggest business is online food delivery, the company also does deliveries of goods, finding restaurants and cafes, booking a hotel, buying a plane ticket and more through its platform. 

Meituan accounted for more than 68% of the Chinese food delivery market in the second quarter last year, according to Trustdata. The company had revenues of $17.7 billion in 2020. Internet giant Tencent is the company's largest investor; a week ago, Meituan raised $10 billion in new shares and bonds.

source: reuters.com