Tencent Holdings’ social app WeChat has been reported to be testing on-demand takeout delivery service in China, aiming to capture shares in the US$55.4 billion food delivery market.
According to local news, the food takeout service has been trialled in Guangzhou and Shenzhen, allowing users to order from nearby restaurants, supermarkets and grocery stores, including KFC, Zumbo Pizza, and Qiu Uncle Lemon Tea.
Tencent does not provide a logistic system but hopes to draw profit from merchants through its mini-programs, which connect them with clients.
“WeChat is not going to end up doing food delivery,” a spokesperson from Tencent told local news.
“It’s just an internal test of an interface capability so that merchants who already have the ability to provide food delivery services can access it, not doing it themselves.”
WeChat’s boasts 1.3 billion active users a month.
Earlier this month, China’s domestic version of TikTok, Douyin, was reported to be trialling a food-delivery service in Beijing, Shanghai and Chengdu. The new program, if launched nationwide, will directly compete with major e-commerce players such as Alibaba’s Ele.me and Meituan.
Research company, IMarc Group estimates the China online food delivery market reached $66.4 billion last year and will generate $129.6 billion by 2028.