ByteDance’s Douyin teams up with Alibaba’s Ele.me in mini programme push

By Thomson Reuters Aug 19, 2022 | 5:12 AM

BEIJING (Reuters) – ByteDance’s Douyin and Alibaba-owned Ele.me said on Friday they have agreed on a collaboration that will see the food delivery app establish a presence on Douyin, as the Chinese short video app builds its ecosystem.

Ele.me would be one of the biggest players to date that Douyin, the Chinese equivalent of TikTok, has brought into its mini-programme platform that it launched some two years ago.

“Douyin’s open platform is an important bridge that Douyin uses to connect users with business partners,” Douyin chief executive Kelly Zhang Nan said in a joint statement.

Chinese “super-apps”, including Tencent Holding’s WeChat and Ant Group’s Alipay, have made forays into the mini-programme field as they aim to create their own ecosystems to keep users engaged.

WeChat, China’s ubiquitous messaging app, said its average daily active users for mini programmes hit 450 million in 2021. In general, mini programmes look and operate much like apps on Apple Inc’s iOS and Google’s Android operating systems but they are less data intensive.

Douyin counts more than 600 million daily active users.

A person familiar with the matter said that Douyin’s mini programmes were different to those of other players as they were mainly powered by the app’s recommendation algorithm, meaning that users would be recommended services based on their use of the app.

Ele.me is China’s second largest food delivery platform after Meituan.

Douyin last year started allowing its users to place takeout orders directly via livestreams. The deliveries are handled by restaurants or delivery riders hired by another service.

Douyin does not employ delivery riders.

(Reporting by Yingzhi Yang and Brenda Goh; Editing by Robert Birsel)