(Yicai Global) Feb. 21 -- Meituan Dianping, which formed from the merger of China's two biggest lifestyle service providers in 2015, has denied reports that the group plans to consolidate the two into a single app.
Consumer review platform Dianping will always remain independent of Meituan, the Beijing-based firm told Yicai Global yesterday. Meituan began as a group-buying site but is now considered an app for everything, operating meal delivery, ride hailing and a range of other lifestyle services.
Financial news outlet Jiemian claimed earlier that day that the Meituan app would consolidate all of the company's services to meet investors' requirements for a minimum number of daily active users, leaving Dianping redundant. Under the alleged merger, Meituan would absorb all of Dianping's data, including users, comments, ratings and reviews.
The move would be similar to how Meituan handled its Mobike takeover. It bought out the bike sharer in April and last month changed its name to Meituan Bike, dropping the independent app and running the service exclusively through Meituan.
Meituan Dianping had 380 million users in the 12 months up to Sept. 30, with 5.5 million active shop owners, according to the firm's latest earnings report. The Tencent Holdings-backed group went public in Hong Kong in September, raising HKD33 billion (USD4.2 billion) in the process.
Editor: James Boynton