- Alibaba is said to want Ele.me’s last-mile delivery network
- Ele.me had acquired Baidu’s food delivery business in August
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. has agreed to buy out Baidu Inc. and other investors in Chinese startup Ele.me to shore up its delivery network, a person familiar with the matter said, placing its biggest bet yet in online food and local services.
An acquisition would hand Alibaba the biggest chunk of Chinese online food delivery and pit it directly against Meituan Dianping, backed by Tencent Holdings Ltd. Ele.me — which means “hungry yet?” — runs an army of delivery people on motorbikes across the country that could enhance Alibaba’s last-mile ability to get parcels to customers’ doorsteps and complement its Koubei neighborhood services business.
The e-commerce giant, which owned 23 percent of Ele.me as of May, plans to buy the stock from existing investors including Baidu, the person said, requesting not to be named because the matter is private. It’s unclear how much Alibaba agreed to pay, but Ele.me was said to have been valued…