Meituan to Open Another Fresh Groceries Outlet in Bid to Rival Alibaba
Liao Shumin
/SOURCE : yicai
Meituan to Open Another Fresh Groceries Outlet in Bid to Rival Alibaba

(Yicai  Global) April 15 -- Meituan Dianping will open another fresh grocery  delivery outlet in China's eastern hub of Shanghai as part of the  lifestyle platform's efforts to rival Alibaba Group Holding's Hema Fresh  in the fast-growing high-sector.

Beijing-based  Meituan will this week open the 10th location for the service which  operates in the capital and Shanghai, Tencent's QQ Finance media outlet  reported. 

Established  in January, the platform named Maicai, meaning "buy vegetables" in  English, delivers all kinds of premium-end groceries to surrounding  communities where demand is growing. Users in the two first-tier cities  have been able to order products on the Meituan Maicai app since January  with free 30-minute delivery within two kilometers of the locations.

China's  affluent consumers are increasingly rejecting traditional product  channels such as local markets and turning to online platforms to  fulfill their needs for quality products. Some 81 percent of China's  middle-class families singled out quality as the key factor in  purchasing decisions when it comes to food, according to a 2017 report  from Chinese think tank Pintu360. This marked the first time that  consumers in the country had held quality in higher regard than price.

Alibaba's  Hema Fresh has already gained a strong foothold in the sector with 64  stores covering 14 Chinese cities as of last July. The Hangzhou-based  tech giant set out a goal of opening 100 in total by the end of the  year. 

Meituan's  foray into the so-called new retail sector involves a self-operated  model and strict controls on the quality of foods and delivery. The  model is different from its meal delivery service Meituan Waimai, which  acts as a third-party courier service for restaurants and shops. 

Editor: William Clegg

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Keywords: Meituan Maicai , Shanghai , Beijing