Biz / Tech

Meituan seeking US$4.4b in Hong Kong IPO: report

Online lifestyle services site Meituan Dianping is said to be seeking US$4.4 billion in an initial public offering in Hong Kong to fuel future growth and market expansion. 
Wang Rongjiang / SHINE

Online lifestyle services site Meituan Dianping is said to be seeking US$4.4 billion in an initial public offering in Hong Kong to fuel future growth and market expansion. 

Meituan Dianping is offering 480.27 million new shares at HK$60 (US$7.90) to HK$72 each and is expected to start trading later this month, Bloomberg reported. Meituan Dianping declined to comment on pricing or the listing timetable.  

Starting out as a group-deal website in 2010, Meituan Dianping has grown into a comprehensive platform that brings together on-demand delivery, ticketing and online travel booking.

The overall market size of on-demand food delivery is expected to reach 360 billion yuan by the end of this year, according to mobile Internet data firm Trustdata, and further growth potential will come from lower tier cities where penetration is relatively low. 

The booming e-commerce sector has been boosted by the prevalence of smartphones and the popularity of online payment infrastructure. 

The sector generated revenue of 15.8 billion yuan in the first four months, nearly doubling from a year ago, according to an updated prospectus on the Hong Kong stock exchange. 

But the sector also faces challenges from Alibaba's lifestyle services platform Koubei, which is also seeking expansion to retain users after the e-commerce giant acquired food delivery start-up Ele.me.

The e-commerce giant intends to provide offline merchants, restaurants and food vendors with more resources to access potential consumers on its retail platform.

Meituan Dianping is also helping merchants with its technological capabilities such as online marketing tools, an on-demand delivery network, plus supply chain and financial solutions to attract and retain consumers.

Meituan's total revenue in 2017 was 33.9 billion yuan, nearly tripling from 13 billion yuan in 2016.

However, new businesses and expansion initiatives also brought about losses. 

Adjusted net losses in the first four months sat at 22.8 billion yuan due to Meituan's recent take over of ride-sharing application Mobike, as well as new business initiatives such as ride hailing. 

Its latest foray into online and offline service also includes its newly launched car-hailing service in Shanghai, which aims to take on lead player Didi Chuxing. 

In 2017, the Meituan Dianping platform generated over 5.8 billion transactions, with total transaction volume of 357 billion yuan. 

The total number of active users has reached 310 million, and the platform connects with 4.4 million merchants in over 2,800 cities and counties across China.

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