China to bridge tech gap for seniors, Meituan posts strong Q3 · TechNode

China launched a new initiative last week to help seniors bridge the digital technology divide. Meituan posted stronger-than-expected earnings for the quarter ended Sept. 30. An e-commerce subsidiary of Chinese omni-channel retailer Suning completed its RMB 6 billion ($912 million) Series A.

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Lowering tech barriers for seniors

China’s State Council rolled out on Thursday a major guideline introducing a set of new measures to help the elderly better adjust to technological innovations. While the measures require relevant parties to preserve non-digital services, they also encourage new tech innovations targeted at seniors.

In particular, the state specifies that accessibility should be evaluated for technologies used in transportation, consumption, healthcare, recreation, and other public services should be addressed.

The plan follows reports of several incidents where seniors were denied access to public services for failing to use the digital options. In one example, an elderly man in central China’s Hubei province tried to pay for his medical insurance in cash, which was rejected because the agency only accepted online payments.

China’s population is increasingly aging. Persons aged 60 or above accounted for 18.1% of the country’s population in 2019, up from 12.5% in 2009, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed. This segment of the population accounts for 60 million or 6.7% of China’s online users, meaning that there are nearly 200 million Chinese seniors not online, a growth opportunity for online technology companies. (CWW.net, in Chinese)

Earnings season rolls on

  • Meituan, China’s food delivery and local lifestyle service, on Monday reported RMB 35.4 billion in revenue for the third quarter, a 29% increase driven by rising demand for takeout meals. The revenue beat the average estimate of RMB 34 billion, according to data cited by Bloomberg. Profits for the quarter reached RMB 6.3 billion. Revenue from the core food delivery business increased by 32.8% year on year to RMB 20.7 billion. The in-store, travel, and hotel unit—another major revenue source —is recovering at a much slower speed from the lingering effects of the pandemic with revenue up a modest 4.8% year on year. (Meituan)

READ MORE: Meituan-Dianping in uncertain times

  • Online fashion and lifestyle platform Mogu Inc on Monday reported revenue of RMB 112.5 million ($16.6 million) for the September quarter, falling 43.1% year on year from RMB 197.9 million earned in the same quarter last year. Both commission revenues and marketing services plunged due to a restructuring of the company’s business towards a live video broadcast-focused model. Facing intense competition from local rivals, Mogu doubled its bet on Mogu Live, the livestream unit which earned 74% of the company’s total GMV in the quarter. GMV generated through livestream sessions surged 42% year on year to RMB 2.3 billion in Q3. (Mogu)
  • Dada Nexus, the parent company of JD-backed on-demand services platform JD Daojia, announced Tuesday that it intends to offer 9 million American Depositary Shares (ADS). The proceeds will be used for marketing, user acquisition, research and development, as well as general corporate purposes. JD Group, a cornerstone investor of the company that invested $41.6 million in the company’s public listing in June, will subscribe for ADS worth a maximum of $50 million in this offering. The company reported strong top-line growth in Q3 with revenue surging 85.5% year on year to RMB 1.3 billion. (JDDJ statement)

Suning ramps up e-commerce

Suning announced its e-commerce subsidiary, Yunwang Wandian, had received the proceeds from its RMB 6 billion Series A. The subsidiary provides supply chain, cloud, and after-sales services to third-party sellers on its marketplaces. Established in November this year, Yunwang Wandian was valued at RMB 25 billion before the investment. Investors include state-backed Shenzhen Capital Group and Shenzhen Luohu Guidance Fund Investment. (CNR, in Chinese)

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