Chinese coffee start-up Luckin Coffee is planning a tie-up with Meituan Dianping to deliver coffee and other food products through the on-demand giant’s delivery network in China, according to people familiar with the situation…Full Article: South China Morning Post Dec 2018

Key Point

  • In December 2018, it was reported that Luckin Coffee would team up with Meituan Dianping (via its delivery app Meituan Waimai) in a bid to expand its coffee delivery service.

ChinaAg Comments

  • In December 2018, Luckin Coffee announced it has suffered USD 124 million in financial losses during January to September 2018. The losses primarily stemmed from the company’s rapid expansion. Meituan Dianping also reported losses of USD 12.1 billion during Q3 (ending in September 2018).
  • In October 2018, Starbucks China plans to expanded its delivery service to various Hema (ask Freshippo) supermarkets (Alibaba owned) in Shanghai and Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province.
  • In September 2018, Starbucks China began delivery service (via Alibaba’s Eleme) in Beijing and Shanghai. Orders will be delivered with tamper-proof seals that, if disturbed, can be rejected by the customers.
  • In August 2018, Starbucks China announced it would form a partnership with Alibaba’s Eleme delivery service. The partnership, called “Starbucks Delivers”, was slated to be launched in Beijing and Shanghai the following month.
  • In July 2018, Luckin Coffee announced it had raised USD 200 million in its Series A round of financing. Investors included the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC) and Legend Capital, a venture capital firm that is a subsidiary of China’s Legend Holdings (HKG:3396).
  • By early May 2018, Luckin Coffee had 525 stores (located across 13 cities), 231 of which were delivery stores. At the times, a large latte was CNY 24 (USD 3.70) per cup, which was roughly 20% cheaper than those sold in Starbucks.
  • In November 2017, Meituan-Dianping (aka Meituan Waimai) denied IPO (stock exchange listing) rumors. At the time, investors in Meituan-Dianping included Hong Kong’s DST Global (Russian backed) and Singapore’s Temasek.
  • In October 2017, Meituan-Dianping (aka Meituan Waimai) announced it had raised USD 4 billion in financing. Led by Tencent Holdings, investors included Priceline Group, Sequoia Capital, GIC of Singapore, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Trustbridge Partners, Tiger Global Management, Coatue Management, and the China-UAE Investment Cooperation Fund. In China, the primary competitor of Meituan-Dianping is Alibaba’s Koubei.
  • Founded in October 2017 (in Beijing) and headquartered Xiamen, Fujian Province, Luckin Coffee (aka Ruixing Coffee, 瑞幸咖啡) is a coffee chain that operates sit-down cafés, carryout only stores, and delivery only stores. By the end of 2017, Luckin Coffee had approximately 300 stores in mainland China. The coffee chain was founded by the chairman and CEO of UCAR Group, a riding sharing app that managed 300,000 cars across 300 cites (as of June 2018). Both UCAR Group and Luckin are headquartered in Siming District, Xiamen. As of mid-2018, Luckin Coffee used the delivery company, SF Express (HQ in Shenzhen).
  • As of August 2017, Eleme had a 41.7% market share, followed by Meituan Waimai (see Meituan-Dianping) at 41%, and Baidu Waimai at 13.2%. During the same month, Eleme announced it would acquire Baidu Waimai. At the time of the deal, Alibaba’s Eleme had approximately 260 million users located in 2,000 cities in China. Eleme’s network included 1.3 million restaurants and three million delivery staff (i.e. scooter delivery). Meanwhile, Baidu Waimai had roughly 100 million users located across 300 cities.
  • From December 2016 to early January 2017, the Beijing Food and Drug Administration (BFDA) ordered 225 online meal ordering/delivery businesses to close, as well as 4,409 registered restaurants to “overhaul their practices”. The majority of the offending businesses were registered with Baidu Waimai, Meituan Waimai, and Eleme.
  • In September 2016, Chinese media reported that Baidu was close to reaching a deal to sell Waimai (food delivery business) and Nuomi (e-commerce) to the Tencent-backed Meituan-Dianping. In general, China’s three primary online (e-commerce) food distribution players are Baidu, Tencent (see JD.com) and Alibaba Group (see Eleme).
  • In August 2016, Beijing Food and Drug Administration (BFDA) announced they began investigating Baidu Waimai, Meituan Waimai, and Eleme. According to the BFDA, they will investigate restaurants or food providers from all three e-commerce websites. Violations typically entail fines of up to CNY 200,000 (US$30,145) for the hosting e-commerce platforms.
  • In May 2016, a Shanghai court ordered Baidu (search engine) to pay CNY 3 million (~US$456,900) in damages to Dianping over copying comments and other information to Baidu controlled sites.
  • In October 2015, Meituan.com and Dianping announced they would merge. The combined Meituan-Dianping company would be worth an estimated USD 15 billion. The investment bank, China Renaissance, assisted the financial aspects of the merger.
  • In June 2015, Alibaba and Ant Financial acquired Koubei (50/50 joint venture, USD 483.3 million each) to counter the Tencent-backed (see also JD.com) Meituan-Dianping online platform.
  • Founded in 2003 and headquartered in Shanghai, Dianping is a restaurant-review and group-buying services platform. It has been compared as a mixture of US-based commerce sites of Yelp (restaurant review) and Groupon (e-commerce merchant). Its primary competitor in China was the Beijing-based Meituan.com (founded in 2010).

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