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China’s food delivery giant Meituan posts third-quarter loss

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November 26, 2021

By Brenda Goh

SHANGHAI (Reuters) -Chinese food delivery giant Meituan reported a fourth consecutive quarterly loss on Friday, as it plowed more investment into expanding its various businesses.

Tencent-backed Meituan, whose services also include restaurant reviews and bike sharing, reported a 5.53 billion yuan ($866 million) loss in the July-September period versus a profit of 2.05 billion yuan a year earlier.

Revenue rose 37.9% in the period from a year earlier to 48.8 billion yuan.

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That compared with a 48.6 billion yuan average of 13 analyst estimates polled by Refinitiv.

The 11-year-old Meituan has been expanding aggressively into hotel booking and community group-buying, taking on such rivals as Alibaba and Pinduoduo.

Food delivery, the company’s core business, posted quarterly revenue growth of 28% to 26.5 billion yuan.

New initiatives, including its community group-buying service, Meituan Select, grew by 66.7% year-on-year to 13.7 billion yuan in revenue.

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Like many of its Chinese tech peers, it has run into regulatory hurdles over the past year, as Chinese authorities crack down on monopolistic behavior.

In October, the country’s antitrust regulator fined Meituan 3.4 billion yuan ($527.4 million) for abusing its dominant market position, equating to 3% of its domestic sales in 2020.

Meituan has also faced criticism for its treatment of delivery riders, most of whom are not covered for basic social and medical insurance. The company said in its statement that it had launched an occupational injury protection pilot program and planned to roll out more welfare initiatives.

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($1 = 6.3888 Chinese yuan renminbi)

(Reporting by Brenda Goh; Editing by Edmund Blair and Kim Coghill)

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