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Meituan taps Chinese e-commerce veteran to grow its flagship app business

The reshuffle marks the company’s latest attempt to continue the user growth for its signature Meituan app.

Photo: Stock.tuchong.com

China’s largest on-demand platform Meituan-Dianping announced Tuesday a high-level management reshuffle that saw Li Shubin, an e-commerce veteran, parachuted into its executive team to head the company’s flagship Meituan app as part of its efforts to build up a super app and fend off competition, local media 36Kr reported.

Li co-founded and served as the CEO of online shoe retailer OkBuy in 2007, the Chinese equivalent to Zappos. He will join Meituan as a vice president and report to Wang Huiwen, the company’s senior vice president and head of the user platform unit. Wang is also a co-founder of Meituan.

The latest management transition marks Meituan’s latest attempt to build its signature Meituan app into a super app, as the giant is facing fierce competition from its archrival, Alibaba’s Ele.me and Koubei, among others.

Meituan’s last structural reshuffle happened in last October, when the Beijing-based tech giant restructured its business into two platforms (user and LBS platforms), two business groups (at-home and in-store, namely delivering services to consumers’ doorstep and bringing consumers to the businesses), and two other independent business units.

After joining Meituan, Li will rein in the Meituan app unit, which is tasked with developing and operating the company’s flagship app. As the head of the unit he will be playing a critical role in growing users.

The firm has already implemented a series of actions to accelerate user growth throughout this year. Its bike-sharing platform Mobike was renamed Meituan Bike in January, and users could access the service via the Meituan app. It has also rebranded its accommodation marketplace Hazelnut B&B into Meituan B&B in October, aiming to increase the brand recognition.

Meituan reported a net profit of RMB 1.9 billion (USD 270.2 million) for the third quarter of 2019, marking its second consecutive profitable quarter since it went public in Hong Kong last year. The company’s transacting users in the twelve-month period ended September 30 reached 435.8 million, up 14% from 382.3 million reported during the same period in 2018.

After the reshuffle, former head of the Meituan app Li Ming, as the executive chairman of Meituan’s product committee, will be charged with building the committee and still report to Wang.

Established in 2016, Meituan’s product committee is made up of internet product experts with a major focus is to foster a high-level product and operation team for Meituan.

36Kr is KrASIA’s parent company.