Summary of Why Meituan Was China’s Most Anticipated IPO in 2018

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Why Meituan Was China’s Most Anticipated IPO in 2018 summary
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On September 20, 2018, Chinese online-to-offline (O2O) life services company Meituan-Dianping debuted on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange with an initial public offering price of HK$69 [US$8.80]. Meituan is now valued at US$51 billion, making it the fourth-most valuable Chinese Internet company behind Alibaba, Tencent, and Baidu. Although many Chinese executives took their companies public in 2018, Meituan’s IPO was the most anticipated one. Liang Ning, an expert product manager who lectures at Jack Ma’s entrepreneur school Hupan University and has her own podcast on Dedao app, gives her take on what makes Meituan unique. 

About the Author

Liang Ning lectures at Hupan University, a start-up entrepreneur school founded by Alibaba’s Jack Ma and a group of Chinese business leaders. Liang also has an online podcast course on the paid-knowledge app Dedao.



Meituan offers so many services that many people find its complexity confusing. A common thread that links the company’s businesses is vertical integration of the food and restaurant industry. Meituan’s food delivery service is the central element of the company. Based on the number of deliveries, Meituan currently operates the world’s largest on-demand delivery network. Restaurant reviews, payment and group-buy functions surround and extend the center. Business-to-business (B2B) services such as electronic menus, point-of-sales machines, and SaaS and ERP software programs form another layer. Meituan has also just begun investing in the food supply-chain business to penetrate the industry further. 

The high frequency usage of the Meituan app’s delivery feature drives traffic toward Meituan, which the company can then redirect toward its other functions: movie ticket sales, hotel bookings, brokered tickets for tourist attractions and entertainment, and the like.

Meituan has never...