Deal creates formidable partnership in China's booming O2O market
SHANGHAI, Aug. 24, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Ele.me, a leading online food delivery service and local services platform in China, in which Alibaba Group (NYSE: BABA) is a key shareholder, announced today its merger with Baidu Deliveries, the food delivery arm of internet search firm Baidu Inc. (NASDAQ: BIDU).
The deal forges a formidable partnership between two of China's top technology companies. Both Alibaba and Baidu will provide the Ele.me and Baidu Deliveries platforms with support in technology, customer acquisition, and food safety. In addition, Alibaba has committed additional capital to support Ele.me's aggressive growth strategies.
Through this merger, Ele.me is driving consolidation in the online food delivery industry in China to shape the future of how food and other goods and services are delivered to consumers. The platform enjoys significant advantages in terms of scale from its operations in over 2,000 cities collaborating with more than 1.3 million merchants.
Baidu Deliveries will continue to operate as an independent brand while retaining its existing management team. Baidu Deliveries, in three years of operation, has managed to reach 300 cities, connecting one million merchants with over 100 million users.
The partnership brings together respective strengths of the two platforms to provide users with an even higher level of service, raising the bar for the entire food delivery industry. As part of the deal, Ele.me will contribute data and resources to improve the experience of Baidu Deliveries users.
Ele.me Chief Executive Officer, Xuhao Zhang, said, "Baidu Deliveries has always been a well-respected peer of Ele.me, with similar visions in serving quality takeout food and providing seamless delivery services. Through the powerful backing of both Alibaba and Baidu, the combined operation is poised to lead the online-to-offline service industry in China."
Baidu Group President and Chief Operating Officer, Qi Lu said, "I am pleased to see the merger between Baidu Deliveries and Ele.me as it marks an exciting new chapter for our consumers, employees and partners. We believe that the integration of resources and technical capabilities will allow Baidu to utilize its cutting-edge technology to provide a better experience for consumers and merchants."
Alibaba Group Executive Vice Chairman, Joe Tsai said, "The strategic partnership between Alibaba and Ele.me is a valuable component of Alibaba's vision for the future of commerce and our ecosystem. Alibaba will provide continued support for Ele.me as it strengthens its leading edge in the industry."