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China’s App-Based Food Delivery Industry Is Booming

August 9, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Startup food delivery companies backed by big investors like Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Tencent Holdings Ltd. have tapped into a vibrant market in China, as diners increasingly choose to order in. The app-based startups are providing stiff competition for struggling KFC and McDonald’s that have for years maintained armies of bike- or motorcycle-riding food couriers. New companies like Ele.me and Meituan Waimai that use mobile apps achieve economies of scale by partnering with thousands of Chinese restaurants and other food outlets. In 2014 the startup bike courier companies delivered $15.7 billion worth of food, a 54 percent increase over 2013, according to one research firm.
Laurie Burkitt, "In China, Fast-Food Fight Turns to Delivery", The Wall Street Journal, August 09, 2015, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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