The O2O Local Services War: Alibaba vs. Meituan? Part 1: Ele.me

A courier of Ele.me food delivery smartphone application travels on his electric bicycle along a street in Shanghai, China, October 9, 2015. REUTERS

In Ep. 25 of TechBuzz China, co-hosts Ying-Ying Lu and Rui Ma talk about Alibaba’s recent moves to firm up its strategy around local services, putting pressure on Meituan-Dianping to defend itself. This war of “O2O,” or online to offline, is shaping up to be intense, with the latest battle round being the recent merger between food delivery rival ele.me (which Alibaba had acquired for $9.5 billion in April of this year) and Alibaba’s New Retail subsidiary, Koubei.

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