Meituan’s Smart Transportation Platform Split, Ride-Hailing Division Now Independent

Meituan recently split its smart transportation platform, which was established less than one year ago, Chinese media outlet LatePost reported on Monday. The car-hailing and unmanned vehicle distribution divisions under the platform are independent. Zhang Xingyuan and Xia Huaxia are responsible for the two divisions, respectively, both of whom report to Meituan‘s CEO Wang Xing.

Xia Huaxia was the head of the intelligent transportation platform which was established in December 2020, when Wang Huiwen, co-founder of Meituan, officially retired. The platform included car-hailing, maps, unmanned vehicle distribution, visual intelligence and other services.

The ride-hailing business, which has been in operation for more than four years, has experienced five directors.

Meituan‘s car-hailing business started pilot operations in Nanjing in February 2017, and the first person in charge of it was Yang Li. It entered Shanghai one year later and planned to expand to six other cities. After a period of expansion, Meituan did not see a big breakthrough opportunity.

During Gao Yan’s tenure from the end of 2018 to the end of 2019, the car-hailing business turned to aggregation mode. In April, 2019, the platform introduced many travel service providers such as Shouqi, Caocao Mobility and UCAR.

At the end of 2019, Wang Huiwen was responsible for car-hailing for Meituan. A person from the firm said that the biggest change brought by Wang during the period was clearer responsibilities of various departments. At this stage, the core goal of the car-hailing business has shifted from expansion to increasing gross profits.

In July 2021, there were new changes in the ride-hailing market. At that time, Didi was partially blocked by regulatory authorities. Chinese users could not download Didi’s car-hailing app in the app store, and drivers could not register their accounts.

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However, the average daily car-hailing volume of Meituan in October is still around 1 million, while that of AutoNavi, a ride-hailing platform of Alibaba, exceeds 5 million.