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A Meituan Dianping delivery guy hurtles through the streets of Hangzhou. Photo: VCG via Getty Images

When some of the world's biggest retail companies are announcing forays into food delivery, they might be thinking of Meituan Dianping, which while not widely known outside its base in China, is worth $55 billion.

The big picture: In China, delivery is not just delivery. Meituan Dianping gained notoriety among its 310 million active users by delivering meals super fast, but it has since become the "everything app" — Seamless, Yelp, Uber, Facebook Messenger and more, all rolled into one.

"This is exactly why we have to say China is innovating now and is no longer a copycat," says Samm Sacks of the Center of Strategic and International Studies.

  • There's nothing like Meituan Dianping in the West. Users might not even want such an app — Facebook has tried to become a Swiss army knife, but has had limited success. But, in China, Meituan Dianping solves a slew of problems with efficiency.

The backdrop: Meituan Dianping is backed by Tencent, Alibaba's epic rival. Alibaba has its own delivery arm, Ele.me, but it isn't employing an Amazonian strategy of doing everything like Meituan Dianping.

The catch: As quickly as Meituan Dianping has climbed to the ranks of global tech giants, it has not been able to figure out how to turn a profit. The company lost $3 billion in 2017, according to the WSJ.

  • That sounds a lot like Amazon, which also wasn't profitable for years because CEO Jeff Bezos was focused on getting bigger. Meituan Dianping could be doing the same.

Go deeper

46 mins ago - World

Israel to approve new construction in West Bank settlements

Bennett (L) and Biden discussed the settlements issue. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty

Israel will approve the construction of 4,400 new homes in the West Bank next week: 3,10o in the Jewish settlements and 1,300 in Palestinian villages.

Why it matters: This will be the first time Israel has approved new settlement building since President Biden assumed office, and it's the first time since 2007 that it approves a significant number of new homes for Palestinians in "Area C" of the West Bank, which is controlled by Israel.

House votes to hold Bannon in contempt of Congress

Steve Bannon. Photo: Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

The House of Representatives voted 229-202 on Thursday to hold former Trump strategist Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with a subpoena from the Jan. 6 select committee.

Why it matters: The Justice Department will now consider bringing criminal charges against Bannon, marking a significant escalation in the Jan. 6 committee's efforts to enforce subpoenas against Trump allies who refuse to cooperate.

Biden: Jan. 6 Capitol riot "was about white supremacy"

President Biden speaks during the 10th anniversary celebration of the dedication of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial with Vice President Harris in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 21. Photo: Oliver Contreras/Sipa/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden said Thursday that white supremacy motivated rioters who carried out the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

Driving the news: "The violent, deadly insurrection on the Capitol nine months ago, it was about white supremacy, in my opinion," Biden said at an event commemorating the 10-year anniversary of the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial in Washington.

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