Following rumors that Ctrip is planning a bold launch into overseas dining booking by investing in a large international restaurant booking platform, Tech Sina quoted a Ctrip insider who confirmed that Ctrip was approaching foodpanda, Yelp, Chope, iMenu360 and MenuDrive as potential targets.
Ctrip’s discussion with Foodpanda is said to have progressed the furthest. Foodpanda is a German company that specializes in takeaway delivery services with presence across 22 countries and regions like Singapore and Hong Kong. However, the deal is yet to be finalized, and there may also be more than one partner eventually.
Ctrip’s move into the dining booking is putting Meituan-Dianping on alert, although Ctrip Gourmet List focuses on overseas destinations while Dazhong-Dianping mainly covers domestic cities.
In September this year, Ctrip Gourmet List began to work with the domestic restaurants of Alibaba-backed Koubei in integrating complementary food and destination activities. This is regarded as an ambition to challenge Dazhong-Dianping in China.
Ctrip’s latest plans to directly invest in overseas restaurant booking platforms and the introduction in August of online booking and package sales at popular overseas destinations hint at Ctrip’s intention to encroach into Meituan-Dianping’s territory as well as branching out overseas.