Wang’s platform has also made moves into Douyin’s stronghold of live-streamed and short-form video in recent months, with pilot programs launched in Shenzhen and Beijing that allow merchants to use video content on Meituan to direct traffic to products they want to promote.

On Monday, Meituan expanded into Hong Kong with new food delivery business KeeTa. It initially launched in Mong Kok and Tai Kok Tsui, but said it expects the service to be available across Hong Kong by year-end.

It will change how people produce and generate content and will impact our business,” Wang said, adding that an internal team at Meituan was working on models and applications for the technology, though they “don’t have anything to share” at this point. “We are very excited about AI. There are so many ways we can use AI.

SHANGHAI, May 25 (Reuters) – Chinese food delivery giant Meituan on Thursday returned to net profit in the first quarter on forecast-beating revenue as it fended off competition from rivals such as Alibaba-backed Ele.me and ByteDance unit Douyin.

Quarterly revenue from Meituan’s in-store, hotel booking, and travel sector businesses “grew robustly” compared to the first quarter of last year, which was impacted by COVID-19 curbs in China, the company said in its earnings report.

“After the Lunar New Year, Douyin’s in-store GMV (gross merchandise value) growth slowed down, as it faced increasing competition from Meituan’s lower commission rate and marketing dollar rebate for large merchants,” said Daiwa Capital Markets analyst John Choi.

The expansion comes as Meituan faces competition from long-time competitor Ele.me, as well as ByteDance, the owner of TikTok and Anime Porn Chinese sister platform Douyin, which branched out into food delivery in February.