Tencent Responds to Reports It Plans to Sell Stake in Meituan

In the afternoon of August 16, the Hong Kong shares of Chinese food delivery giant Meituan fell by 10% after Reuters reported that its shareholder Tencent is planning to sell all or most of its $24 billion shares. Meituan closed down 9.07% to HK $164 ($20.91) on August 16, with a market value of HK $1.02 trillion ($130.1 billion).

Regarding this, Tencent responded “No comment” to domestic media outlets. Later on in the afternoon of the same day, Zhang Jun, General Manager of Corporate Marketing and Public Relations at Tencent, posted on his personal social media account to refute the rumors. 36Kr also learned from sources close to Tencent that the reports are not true and that Tencent has no plans to sell Meituan shares at the current time. As of the afternoon of August 16, Meituan did not respond.

Tencent, the tech giant that owns  WeChat, China’s largest instant messaging app, first invested in Meituan‘s rival Dianping in 2014, which then merged with Meituan a year later to form the current company.

Pan Helin, co-director and researcher of Digital Economy and Financial Innovation Research Center of International Union Business School of Zhejiang University, said that Tencent holds 17% of the trillion market value of Meituan, and the selling of this magnitude could not be carried out quietly, according to a report by Yicai. On the other hand, Meituan currently gets some traffic support from Tencent, and its traffic sources would be compressed without their largest shareholder. However, due to the volume and market position of Meituan in China’s food delivery market, its market position could not be shaken, but the negative impact still exists.

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