Meituan Co-founder and AI Startup Founder Wang Huiwen Steps Down Due to Health Issues

Wang Huiwen, the co-founder of Meituan, China’s leading e-commerce platform for services, has stepped down from the company’s board of directors due to health reasons, effective from June 26, 2023. This marks Wang’s second departure from Meituan, where he previously served as the company’s senior vice president and played a crucial role in guiding Meituan‘s transition from group buying to various businesses including food delivery, ride-hailing, and bike-sharing.

After retiring from his roles in Meituan in December 2020, Wang resurfaced in the digital world with his notes on Web3 and later emerged at the forefront of a new AI wave. Leveraging his experience and network, he founded an AI company called Guannian Zhiwai (means Beyond the Light Year). The company, still in its early stages, was swiftly backed by Wang Xing, a former partner and co-founder of Meituan, and reputedly secured $230 million investment from giants like Tencent and Source Code Capital, although this was later denied by Wang Huiwen.

The Meituan board, composed of a handful of key individuals, expressed their heartfelt gratitude for Wang Huiwen’s significant contributions during his tenure. Following Wang’s resignation, Mu Rongjun was appointed as the authorized representative, effective from June 26, 2023. The nomination committee will now consist of Leng Xuesong and Dr. Shen Xiangyang, with Leng Xuesong continuing to serve as the chairman of the nomination committee.

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Wang Huiwen, despite his health issues, remains a prominent figure in the tech industry. In February 2023, he announced the launch of his AI venture on the social media app “Instant”, revealing a personal investment of $50 million for a 25% stake in his newly founded company, Guannian Zhiwai. His aim is to attract top AI talent and make breakthroughs akin to those achieved by OpenAI in China. The day after his announcement, the first partner joined the venture: Liu Jiang, Deputy Director of the Beijing Institute of Smart Source AI.

Wang’s health problems have led to speculation about the potential impact on his new AI company, which is still in its early stages and faces intense competition in the AI industry. However, with his track record of overcoming challenges at Meituan and his evident determination to drive AI advancements, the tech community is eagerly watching his next moves.