Q&A: How Alibaba data will feed Ele.me's hunger for growth

With a battle raging for China's food delivery dollar, Ele.me sees parent company Alibaba's trove of user information as the secret ingredient for success over Tencent's Meituan.

The latest item on the menu for Chinese tech tycoons Jack Ma and Pony Ma is a dominant role in the country's fast-growing food-delivery market. And neither man likes to be told that his dish of choice is off the menu.

Tencent's Pony Ma has already served up an aperitif in this culinary battle. Tencent is the major backer of Meituan, an online-to-offline unicorn offering everything from food on demand to international travel. Meituan is now seeking to raise as much as $4 billion in a Hong Kong float, valuing the firm at $60 billion, people familiar with the deal said.

But while Meituan holds a...

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