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August 17, 2022

Tencent likely to sell $24bn stake in Chinese food delivery firm Meituan

Tencent aims to start the divestment of its 17% stake in Meituan within the year.

Chinese multinational technology firm Tencent Holdings is planning to divest all, or the majority, of its $24bn stake in food delivery firm Meituan, Reuters reported, citing four sources familiar with the development.

Tencent aims to begin the divestment of its 17% stake in Meituan within the year, subject to favourable market conditions.

The company is said to have been holding discussions with financial advisers to devise a strategy to divest the majority of its stake in the online food delivery company, according to three sources.

In 2014, the company made its first investment in Meituan’s rival Dianping, which merged with Meituan a year later.

Tencent declined to comment on the planned sale, and Meituan also did not respond to a request for comment.

In recent years, the Chinese Government has tightened regulations to rein in big-tech companies and prevent them from building their own empires through acquisitions and domestic concentration of market power.

Over the same period, Tencent is said to have been shrinking its portfolio in order to remain in line with domestic regulations.

One of the sources was quoted by Reuters as saying: “The regulators are apparently not happy that tech giants like Tencent have invested in and even become a big backer of various tech firms that run businesses closely related to people’s livelihoods in the country.”

Following the report of the potential divestment, Meituan shares fell by more than 10%. Tencent shares also dropped by 2% before recovering.

In January, Starbucks partnered with Meituan to strengthen its footprint in China.

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