The whole society has stepped into the era of intelligent Internet, mobile phones have become an indispensable part of everyone’s life. Our life consists of many small parts, such as eating, entertainment, learning, medical care, and so on. We feel very tired when we spend too much energy on such trivial information, especially in a strange environment. However, Meituan Dianping is a platform that provides great convenience for our life. It has been committed to the communication and aggregation of the urban consumption experience. This article will mainly give the comprehensive introduction, profit model, and problems of Dianping.
Meituan Dianping was formed by two companies, Meituan and Dianping. They had reached a strategic cooperation and established a new company in October 2015 (Fisk, 2021). Dianping is founded in Shanghai in April 2003 (GMA,2020). It is China’s leading local life information and trading platform, and the first independent third-party consumer comment website in the world (Baidu Baike, 2019). Meituan Dianping is China’s largest platform for ordering lifestyle services and products through smartphones. This is an application integrating food distribution, movie tickets, restaurant reviews, group discounts, and other functions. Dianping not only provides users with business information, consumer reviews, consumer discounts, and other information services but also provides o2o (online to offline) trading services such as group purchase, restaurant reservation, takeout, and electronic membership cards (Baidu Baike, 2019). Meituan Dianping is the largest local service provider in China, with a leading market position, huge annual turnover growth, and more than 130 million annual active buyers. The platform not only has the services of every city in China but also has a very large market in foreign countries. To attract more Chinese consumers, foreign restaurants have also entered this platform (Fisk, 2021).
The early Dianping mainly focused on the information of the catering industry and provided group purchase coupons. Firstly, they have also cooperated with other companies in recent years, such as adding map function. Consumers can directly navigate to the destination with the self-contained map in the software, and provide an online taxi service. Secondly, after the merger of Meituan, Dianping can directly find the favorite restaurant in the software and directly choose the takeout service. Dianping provides all the services we need in our daily life, such as medical treatment, weddings, accommodation, air tickets, beauty, and so on (GMA,2020). The classification is very detailed and can find all services we need. Dianping has truly provided comprehensive chain services for consumers now.
- Business Model Analysis
Dianping sends offline messages to Internet customers through discounts, information provision, and service reservation, and then convert them into their offline customers (Lin, Su & Ye, 2021). In the beginning, it attracted the public and stimulated their consumption desire by group buying coupons (Lin, Su & Ye, 2021). All information provided by public comment is free, and additional services such as catering coupons are provided (Lin, Su & Ye, 2021). It Establishes a database, collects and sorts out restaurant information in China. Then it provides information search services to the public and encourages members to comment on the restaurants they have been to. Comments include effective information such as taste, environment, service, per capita consumption, restaurant atmosphere, like information and parking information to other customers (Lin, Su & Ye, 2021).
Part 2: Profit Model
This part of revenue has reached 80% of the total revenue of Dianping (Lin, Su & Ye, 2021). Commission on group purchase orders and merchants through platform advantages as income.
It also launched the point card business (Lin, Su & Ye, 2021). Members can get points when they go to the restaurant with the point card, which can be converted into cash, gifts, or discounts. This product is widely welcomed by merchants and consumers, it makes three parties can obtain the benefits they need at the same time (Lin, Su & Ye, 2021).
Part 3: Problems Coming with Famous
- Information Privacy
- “Restaurants and hotels visited by Wechat friends” on the Dianping”: In 2018, the media reported that a user complained about the Dianping revealed the location that Wechat friends have been (Baidu Baike, 2019). It is the disclosure of other people’s privacy. In this regard, Dianping gave a response on the same day, saying that the internal self-examination had been carried out for the first time, and relevant rectification measures had been formulated (Baidu Baike, 2019).
- Wang Sicong has published a Weibo about his phone number which bound to Dianping, has been maliciously tampered with. This problem must have existed all the time, but it was exposed because of Wang Sicong’s flow and heat. Many ordinary people have faced similar problems in their daily life, but they have never had the opportunity to solve them.
- Malicious Brush Comments
The most intuitive feeling of many netizens is that the Dianping is becoming very unreliable. Less and less real comments are seen, but more and more false praise and malicious bad comments (Tang, 2021). This seems to become a change that is tacitly accepted by the public: third parties receive huge rewards, businesses quickly increase their reputation exposure by relying on a large number of “high praise” in a short time, and false customers taste delicious dishes for free. This leads to misleading consumers, using deceptive means to attract customers, and crowding out normal businesses (Tang, 2021). And there are many businesses on Taobao to do public comment operation business. According to the merchant, it can not only brush high praise but also delete bad reviews on Dianping. This kind of thing has always existed and is becoming more and more serious because there is no clear legal provision for criminal characterization of offline brush evaluation in China. The amount involved in most offline brush evaluations is small, which objectively increases the difficulty of legal punishment. Fortunately, some time ago, China’s supreme law made it clear that brushing orders and frying letters are a part of online gray and black production, which also provides new favorable conditions for the socialized governance of “public commentators”.
- Equity issues
It does not just firm looking for people to brush false comments. Similarly, because Dianping is a service-oriented software, it puts the rights and interests of consumers first. Due to the bad comments will cause a great impact on firms, some influential bloggers will threaten them on the bad reviews. This has also caused great unfairness to them.
There is huge competition in this market, it is not easy to maintain a leading position all the time. Meituan and Dianping software was first developed in two different directions in the catering industry. Their merger prompted both parties to maximize their advantages and comprehensively improve the whole business. This achieves the effect that one plus one is greater than two. To attract users’ attention and help their applications become more valuable, Meituan Dianping is developing itself in an all-around way, to keep itself competitive. Its original intention is to gather the voices of consumers with the help of the Internet, objectively reflect the opinions of most customers with the data accumulated on the network. This shows that the comments brought by the social network are true and effective at the beginning, but there are many security issues. In addition, many new competitors are emerging in a steady stream. If Meituan Dianping wants to continue to maintain the leading position among the same occupation. It is indispensable to strengthen the authority and impartiality of evaluation, a crackdown on false comments, and safeguard consumers’ rights and interests.