Meituan Co-Founder Wang Huiwen Returns as Advisor After Depression
Lu Hanzhi
DATE:  Apr 02 2024
/ SOURCE:  Yicai
Meituan Co-Founder Wang Huiwen Returns as Advisor After Depression Meituan Co-Founder Wang Huiwen Returns as Advisor After Depression

(Yicai) April 2 -- Meituan co-founder Wang Huiwen will come back as a part-time advisor after he stepped down as a director more than nine months ago due to depression, Chief Executive Wang Xing said in an internal company email.

Wang will help the Groupon-like platform in terms of strategy, culture, talent development, technological innovation, and new business, Wang said today.

The pair were once college roommates and set up Meituan, a Beijing-based provider of on-demand services, in 2010.

Wang Huiwen’s health has been stable though he has not fully recovered after nearly a year of treatment, a person familiar with the matter told Yicai. But his doctors believe that resuming some regular, low-stress work for a short period will aid his recovery, the source added.

The 45-year-old billionaire stepped down as Meituan’s senior vice president in 2020 to pursue his own entrepreneurial ventures, but remained a director until last June. Wang said last February that he would start an artificial intelligence business, aiming to build China’s version of OpenAI, the US developer of ChatGPT. But he was diagnosed with depression and hospitalized four months later. 

Meituan acquired Guangnianwai Technology, Wang’s AI startup, for CNY2.1 billion (USD290.3 million) last June. Meituan said at the time that the company would continue to support Guangnianwai’s work on large language models.

Meituan became profitable again last year after two straight years of losses. Net profit tallied CNY13.9 billion (USD1.9 billion), versus a net loss of CNY6.7 billion (USD925.9 million) in 2022. Revenue rose 26 percent to CNY276.7 billion (USD38.2 billion).

Editors: Dou Shicong, Emmi Laine

Follow Yicai Global on
Keywords:   Wang Huiwen,Meituan,mental health,AI,Guangnianwai,LLM,founder