Bytedance’s Douyin Conducts Internal Testing for Food Delivery Service, Confronting a Competitive Market

Chinese media outlet Tech Planet reported on Wednesday that Bytedance’s popular video-sharing platform Douyin recently set up a team for a food delivery business, launching an internal test of a mini-program named “Xindong Waimai”. The new service, which is embedded within the Douyin app, carries the slogan: “eat what you love with Xindong Waimai”.

The developer of the mini-program is Beijing Weibo Vision Technology Co., Ltd., which is also the main operator of Douyin. Tech Planet reported that Douyin’s food delivery service will initially be provided in first- and second-tier cities across China.

Sources told Tech Planet that Douyin will invite food and beverage businesses already active on the app to integrate their services directly with the new mini-program.

According to the CCTV business channel, by the end of 2020, the number of take-out orders nationwide had reached 17.12 billion, up 7.5% year-on-year. Around 500 million people are currently use food delivery platforms, among which generations born in the 80s and 90s represent the backbone consumers. Apart from daily meals, users of take-out services now tend to order more afternoon tea and midnight snacks.

Compared with Meituan and Eleme, two leading food delivery giants, dynamic information embedded in short videos on the wildly-popular Douyin platform can make users’ evaluations more realistic.

Bytedance has previously launched a variety of daily life functions on Douyin. In March, 2020, a group purchase function was launched, allowing users to order food while watching videos.

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At the same time, Douyin cooperated with Eleme and Meituan, allowing them to post food delivery links on their personal homepage.

In September 2020, the “Xindong Restaurant” went live online, aimed at selecting the best-selling restaurant based on short videos. Using the feature, Douyin users can post videos with the restaurant’s ranking and some hashtags to nominate their picks. The selection aims to provide users with high-quality information, and help merchants improve their meals and services.

In April, 2021, Douyin launched QR codes based on food ordering. Under this arrangement, users can view the ordering page – which usually provides coupons like Meituan – by scanning the digital code on the dining table.