Dianping, acquired in 2015 by Meituan, has become one of the largest online service platforms provided via apps.
It can rely on the support of large investors, including Tencent (with 20% of the shares), Sequoia Capital, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Trustbridge Partners. Last year Meituan-Dianping's revenues grew to RMB 33.9 billion (US $5.2 billion), an increase of 161% from the previous year and this despite a loss of RMB 18.99 billion (US $2.7 billion). The company recently decided to open up to the market, reaching an initial public offering of US $55 billion on the Hong Kong stock exchange.
What is it
Defined by many as the Chinese version of Tripadvisor, Groupon, Uber Eats and Yelp, Dianping provides consumers with an online guide that includes information about traders and consumer reviews, discounts and promotions on products and services, online bookings for restaurants, hotels, experiences and food delivery services.
The platform not only offers consumers more than 200 categories of products on a daily basis but also a large quantity of authentic, transparent and detailed, user-created content. It is an established practice for a user, after purchasing a service or product, to add a detailed review of the experience, accompanied by a one-to-five star rating and images, comments and recommendations.
In 2017, over 4 million merchants, in more than 2,800 Chinese, cities and provinces, served around 290 million active users per month. Originally, most of the users came from cities belonging to the tier 1 group; today the platform has also successfully spread to reach tier 2 and tier 3 cities. The main users are females born in the 80s and 90s, with a high level of education, a medium-high monthly salary and a relative spending capacity that allows them to buy luxury products and travel more than 3 times a year.
Thanks to the ability to profile users and create targets, based on position and consumption habits, many international brands have decided to invest in promotional campaigns on this platform. The use of Dianping, as part of a structured intervention strategy in the Chinese market, can be an effective tool for approaching local consumers.
Tech in Asia