Luo Min, the founder and CEO of Qudian, a technology platform empowering the online consumer finance experience in China, said on July 18 that the company has begun to focus on ready-to-cook meals, and is winding down its financial credit business.
Founded in March 2014, Qudian has served as a connector between financial institutions and users, with the original aim of empowering financial institutions and helping them improve their marketing and operating efficiency. On October 18, 2017, Qudian was listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
However, Luo said at an event on July 18 that “Qudian will be a food company in the future – not an internet company.”
On July 17, Luo was seen selling ready-to-cook meals through his personal livestreaming room on Douyin, the Chinese mainland version of ByteDance’s TikTok. The livestream started at 9:00 a.m. and ended at 11:00 p.m. A total of 9.56 million products were sold. At its peak, the online audience exceeded 900,000 viewers, bringing 3.97 million new followers for Luo’s account.
Luo said that Qudian plans to support 100,000 users to start businesses in the form of offline stores within three years, and the target this year is 10,000 new stores. Merchants can enjoy one-year interest-free loans.
Luo said that the investment in ready-to-cook meals will be further improved within the scope permitted by the firm’s board of directors. At present, several hundred million yuan has been invested, and Luo hopes that the cost will be reduced through larger scale in the future.
Qudian’s ready-to-cook meals project was established internally nine months ago, and 15 factories have already been set up in 15 Chinese cities, including Xiamen, Wuhan and Shenzhen. Qudian’s team is responsible for dish research, production and processing. It has cooperated with leading agricultural companies to ensure raw material supply, and SF Express to secure safe and quick delivery.
The person in charge of product research at Qudian said that the team currently has 1,000 people, and dozens are responsible for supply chain management. According to its official WeChat account, the company is urgently hiring talent for its product, supply chain and livestreaming sectors.
Qudian has previously confirmed that the food industry will be the future development direction of the company. The ready-to-cook meals project will soon surpass cash loans to become its largest revenue resource, which is expected to be reflected in the company’s third-quarter financial report.