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China’s grocery delivery battle heats up with Meituan’s entry – TechCrunch

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Fast, affordable food delivery service has been life-changing for many working Chinese, but some still prefer to whip up their own meals. These people may not have the time to pick up fresh ingredients from brick-and-mortar stores, so China’s startups and large companies are trying to make home-cooked meals more effortless for busy workers by sending vegetables and meats to apartment doors.

The fresh grocery sector in China recorded 4.93 trillion yuan ($730 billion) in total sales last year, growing steadily from 3.37 trillion yuan in 2012 according to data collected by Euromonitor and Hua Chuang Securities. Most of these transactions still happen inside wet markets and supermarkets, leaving online retail, which accounted for only 3 percent of total grocery sales in 2016, much room for growth.

Ecommerce leaders Alibaba and JD.com have already added grocery to their comprehensive online shopping malls, nestling in the market with more focused players like Tencent-backed MissFresh (每日优鲜), which has raised $1.4 billion to date. The field has just grown a little more crowded with new entrant Meituan, the Tencent-backed food delivery and hotel booking giant that raised $4.2 billion through a Hong Kong listing last year.

Screenshots of the Meituan Maicai app / Image: Meituan Maicai

The service, which comes in a new app called “Meituan Maicai” or Meituan grocery shopping that’s separate from the company’s all-in-one app, set out in Shanghai in January before it muscled into Beijing last week. The move follows Meituan’s announcement in its mid-2018 financial report to get in on grocery delivery.

Meituan’s solution to take grocery the last mile is not too different from those of its peers. Users pick from its 1,500 stock keeping units ranging from yogurt to pork loin, fill their in-app shopping carts and pay via their phones, the firm told TechCrunch. Meituan then dispatches its delivery fleets to people’s doors in as little as 30 minutes.

The instant delivery is made possible by a satellite of physical “service stations” across neighborhoods that serve warehousing, packaging and delivering purposes. Placing offline hubs alongside customers also allows data-driven internet firms to optimize warehouse stocking based on local user preferences. For instance, people from an upscale residential area probably eat and shop differently from those in other parts of the city.

Meituan’s foray into grocery shopping further intensifies its battle with Alibaba to control how Chinese people eat. Alibaba’s Hema Supermarket has been running on a similar setup that uses its neighborhood stores as warehouses and fulfillment centers to facilitate 30-minute delivery within a three-kilometer radius. For years, Meituan’s food delivery arm has been going neck-and-neck with Ele.me, which Alibaba scooped up last year. More recently, Alibaba and Meituan are racing to get restaurants to sign up for their proprietary software, which can supposedly give owners more insights into diners and beef up customer engagement.

As part of its goal to be an “everything” app, Meituan has tried out many new initiatives in the lead-up to its initial public offering but was also quick to put them on hold. The firm acquired bike-sharing service Mobike last April only to shutter its operations across Asia in less than a year for cost-saving. Meituan also paused expansion on its much-anticipated ride-hailing business.

But grocery delivery appears to be closer to Meituan’s heart, the “eating” business, to put in its own words. Meituan is tapping its existing infrastructure to get the job done, for example, by summoning its food delivery drivers to serve the grocery service during peak hours. As the company noted in its earnings report last year, the grocery segment could leverage its “massive user base and existing world’s largest intra-city on-demand delivery network.”

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Nothing’s Ear (Stick) Teaser Tells Us A Whole Lot Of Nothing

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The good news for fans of the relatively new company is that we know Nothing will be launching a new audio product by the end of the year. The bad news is that we know almost nothing about the product except for its name: the Nothing Ear (Stick). The company included a couple of teaser images with its announcement, but none of them really give us a look at the product, instead showcasing a cylindrical container (presumably the charging case) with the company’s logo on it.

Nothing calls the Ear (Stick) “the next evolution” in its own audio lineup, reinforcing the same ethos it used to hawk its smartphone: that of a simplistic device that doesn’t get in the way — possibly in the literal sense this time around, as Nothing describes the product as featuring “supremely comfortable” ergonomics and a “feather-light” design. If there’s any point that seems worth getting excited about, it’s the mention that Ear (Stick) will be “molded to your ears.”

Whether that refers to a pair of earbuds that will come with silicone putty for creating custom ear molds is anyone’s guess, but the concept itself is definitely a thing. Beyond that, Nothing confirmed the earbuds will have a “unique charging case,” so it’s safe to say they likely sport a true wireless design. Sadly, Nothing won’t tell us anything about the product’s specs and price right now, but it did say the model will arrive sometime before 2023.

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Apple Stage Manager’s iPadOS 16 Surprise Could Save You From Buying A New One

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Among the older Apple iPad models that have officially received the nod (via Engadget) for Stage Manager on iPadOS 16 include the 11-inch iPad Pro (first generation and above) and the 12.9-inch iPad Pro (third generation and above). These relatively new iPad models come powered by Apple’s A12X Bionic and A12Z Bionic chipsets. Since Stage Manager was initially designed for M1-powered iPads running iOS 16 or beyond, enabling it on older hardware comes with a few trade-offs. 

While the M1-powered iPad can simultaneously open up to eight live apps on the screen, the maximum number of live apps on older models is limited to just four. In addition, older iPads running iPadOS 16 and beyond would also not be able to invoke Stage Manager while using the devices with external displays. Interestingly, Apple is yet to enable external display support for Stage Manager on even the M1 iPads. However, the company did confirm that Stage Manager for the M1 iPads will be enabled on the M1 iPads via a software update before the end of 2022. 

Apart from enabling Stage Manager on older iPads, the next version of iPadOS 16 (likely to be called iPadOS 16.1) could incorporate a lot of bug fixes. Per Apple’s current plan, the public beta version of iPadOS 16 should reach customers by October. Apple has also confirmed that Stage Manager will also make it to macOSVentura, which is also set for release in October 2022.

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How To Reset And Pair Your Roku Remote

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When your Roku streaming device is freezing up or your remote isn’t working correctly, the problem can often be fixed by simply rebooting the machine, which Roku calls a system restart. If that method doesn’t work, however, users also have the option of resetting the device, which will return it to factory settings. That means you’ll need to set the device back up as if it is new, and that’s why you should try restarting the device before resetting it. The steps to restart are identical for the simple Roku remote and the basic voice remote, both of which use standard AAA batteries:

  1. Slide the battery compartment cover off and remove the batteries.
  2. Disconnect the main device’s power cable and reconnect it after at least 5 to 10 seconds have passed.
  3. Immediately after Roku’s main interface appears onscreen, complete the restart process by re-inserting the batteries into the remote and sliding the cover back in place.

The following are steps for people who own a Roku Voice Remote Pro:

  1. Disconnect the main device’s power cable.
  2. Reconnect it after at least 5 to 10 seconds have passed.
  3. As soon as Roku’s main interface appears onscreen, complete the restart process by long-pressing the pairing button on the remote for 20 seconds.
  4. When you see a slowly blinking green light stop then switch to rapid-fire blinking, let the reset button go.

Another way to restart that works for most types of Roku remotes is by going through the gadget’s “Settings” menu. This is the option you’ll want to use if the Roku’s power cord is located somewhere difficult to reach, according to the company.

  1. Hit the Home icon on the remote.
  2. Go to “Settings.”
  3. Pick “System.”
  4. Choose “Power.” If it’s unavailable, go to the next step.
  5. Hit “System restart,” then confirm by choosing “Restart.”
  6. Immediately after Roku’s main interface appears onscreen, follow step 3 onwards for your specific Roku remote listed above.

Simple Roku remote users can instantly press buttons to check for responsiveness. Those who own voice remotes have to wait at least half a minute to check whether the system restart fixed the issue.

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