Meituan CEO transfers shares worth $2.8 billion to his foundation amid anti-monopoly scrutiny
Published: Jun 06, 2021 11:59 PM
Meituan Photo: CFP

Meituan Photo: CFP

Meituan's CEO, Wang Xing, recently transferred 57 million of his own shares to his foundation, worth nearly 17.9 billion yuan ($2.8 billion), amid an anti-monopoly crackdown on internet platform companies by the Chinese market regulator.

According to the reports, Wang signed the share transfer plan on Thursday. At that point, he would convert 10 percent of his personal Class A shares into Class B shares, which would then be added to the Wang Xing Foundation dedicated to promote public welfare responsibilities such as education and research.

The move by Meituan, China's largest online food delivery platform, came after the company was probed for suspected monopolistic practices by the State Administration for Market Regulation in April.

Netizens commented on Sina Weibo that Wang is avoiding taxes, while some say that, as long as he really engages in charity, the donation is good. However, comments mainly complain about the unreasonable and rising pricing on Meituan and the treatment of deliverymen.

"The takeout industry has turned into a state and almost everyone is working for Meituan. The most obvious example is that during the COVID-19 epidemic, Meituan took advantage of its dominant market position, constantly increasing commission so that small businesses actually could hardly make any money," a market watcher surnamed Wang told the Global Times on Sunday.

Meituan CEO responded to the anti-monopoly investigation on May 28 during the first-quarter earnings call.

"Anti-monopoly supervision will have a positive impact on the whole internet industry, and Meituan has a special team to cooperate with the work of regulators. The anti-monopoly investigation will not have a big negative impact on Meituan's takeout business," said Wang Xing.

As for riders on the platform, the CEO said that Meituan will actively cooperate with the government to strengthen social security for riders on the platform and riders who work part time, including commercial insurance and accident insurance.