ByteDance’s Douyin has been trialing a food delivery service since December as it looks to expand its business beyond advertising.
Jakub Porzycki | Nurphoto | Getty Images
ByteDance told CNBC on Wednesday that it has been testing a type of food delivery service in China via its short video app Douyin, potentially pitting itself against major e-commerce companies like Alibaba and Meituan.
And the company is now considering extending the service beyond the trial.
Douyin is the Chinese version of TikTok which are both owned by ByteDance.
A Douyin spokesperson said that the company has been “testing a feature in Beijing, Shanghai and Chengdu that enables merchants to promote and sell ‘group-buying’ packages to Douyin users in these select cities and have them delivered.”
Restaurant owners often livestream on Douyin to market their business. While doing this, they can offer discounts and coupons for their food to users watching the videos. Multiple users can then purchase that offer and choose a time within two days for the food to arrive.
The model is very different from Meituan and Alibaba’s Ele.me which are both on-demand food delivery services, much like Uber Eats.
“We would consider expanding the feature to more cities in the future depending on the testing results. There is no detailed timeline yet,” a Douyin spokesperson said.
The company has been testing the feature since December.
China’s food delivery industry is dominated by Meituan and Ele.me.
But ByteDance’s tentative steps into the market suggests it wants a slice of the market, which was worth $66.4 billion in 2022, according to research firm IMARC Group.
ByteDance has been dipping its toes into different areas of online shopping. Last year, the company launched a fashion website called If Yooou outside of China.