Alibaba Acquires Food Delivery Startup Ele.me in $9.5 Billion Deal

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Alibaba acquires Food delivery startup Ele.me in $9.5 Billion Deal for local delivery of food and other services. China’s biggest e-commerce company announced on Monday that it’s buying the outstanding shares that it does not already own from other stakeholders.

With this new acquisition, Alibaba is raising its efforts to expand in China’s fast-growing market.

Alibaba acquires Food delivery startup Ele.me – whose Chinese name roughly translates to “Hungry Yet?” – is struggling for supremacy in the local services industry with Meituan Dianping, another Chinese local service giant. Tencent Holdings, China’s biggest tech company has pushed billions of dollars into Meituan-Dianping.

Meituan-Dianping is an online platform that allows users to order food, book movies tickets, and restaurants, through a single mobile app. In October, it became the most valuable startups in the world.

Besides, Alibaba is also acquiring delivery affiliate Cainiao and investing money into warehouses as well as it had put money in traditional retailers including China’s largest operator of Walmart-style hypermarkets and department store chain Intime Retail Group.

“We are excited for Ele.me to become a part of the Alibaba ecosystem,” said Daniel Zhang, a chief executive of Alibaba. “Looking forward, Ele.me can leverage Alibaba’s infrastructure in commerce and find new synergies with Alibaba’s diverse businesses to add further momentum to the new retail initiative.”

“Whenever Alibaba have seen long-term upside they haven’t been hesitant about buying something in,” said Kirk Boodry, an analyst with New Street Research.

In addition to the new retail industry, Alibaba has also made investments in digital entertainment with its Chinese film company Alibaba Pictures producing original film and TV series.