Ali and meituan have been punished one after another. Does the group dinner party have a "monopoly"?
Column: industry trends Release time: April 28, 2021

"Sharp sword" falls:


Recently, the website of the State Administration of market supervision suddenly released a message: Recently, according to the report, the State Administration of market supervision filed a case on meituan's suspected monopoly behavior, such as "one out of two".


Earlier, Ali was fined 18.2 billion yuan for monopoly!


The reason for the punishment is: Alibaba group takes advantage of its dominant position in the online retail market to gain an unfair competitive advantage.


The common feature of both sides is that they make use of their special position of monopolizing the market to make choices.


In this regard, the industry has set off a wave of discussion, whether there is a monopoly in the catering industry "giants", and then further thinking, is it possible for the group catering industry?

Monopoly market conditions,

Group catering industry is not satisfied


In fact, the news about meituan being investigated or punished has not been stopped. Data from the surging news show that:


On April 14, the intermediate people's Court of Huai'an City, Jiangsu Province, issued a judgment on the unfair competition behavior of meituan: Beijing Sankuai Technology Co., Ltd. (meituan) will compensate Shanghai lazas Information Technology Co., Ltd. (hungry Mo) by 352000 yuan.


In June 2017, Zhejiang Jinhua Market Supervision Bureau punished meituan, with a total fine of 526000 yuan, for taking advantage of its dominant position in the local market and forcing merchants to sign a "letter of commitment".


In May 2018, the market supervision bureau of qingjiangpu District, Huai'an City, Jiangsu Province, determined that meituan constituted unfair competition and fined 70000 yuan;

In March 2019, the market supervision and Administration Bureau of Tongjiang County, Bazhong City, Sichuan Province, imposed a fine of 250000 yuan on meituan takeout and ordered it to stop its illegal activities for being suspected of misleading and cheating and forcing users to modify, close or unload the network products or services legally provided by other operators;


On April 10, 2020, the official micro blog of Guangdong food and Beverage Association issued the letter of negotiation on joint brand delivery of Guangdong catering industry to meituan, accusing meituan of being suspected of monopolizing pricing, and the Commission of new catering merchants was as high as 26%, which was beyond the critical point for merchants to tolerate;


In February 2021, Jinhua intermediate people's Court of Zhejiang Province made a judgment: Jinhua Branch of Beijing Sankuai Technology Co., Ltd. has infringed upon the legitimate rights and interests of lazas company, and should bear civil liability and compensate the latter with 1 million yuan of economic loss.


As a matter of fact, the General Administration of market supervision has already said hello about anti-monopoly. On April 13, the State Administration of market supervision, together with the central network information office and the State Administration of Taxation, held an administrative guidance meeting for Internet platform enterprises. "Five strict precautions" and "Five Guarantees" were put forward at the meeting, and serious rectification must be taken against such problems as forced implementation of "two to one", abuse of market dominant position, implementation of "pinching and merging", burning money to seize "community group buying" market, implementation of "big data killing", ignoring fake and shoddy goods, information leakage and tax related illegal activities.


Many scholars have mentioned that China's e-commerce is a typical "oligopoly" market. So, is it possible for group meals to evolve into an "oligopoly" market?

There is a definition of "oligopoly" in Economics: oligopoly means that the products of every company in a market are not unique And the number of competitors is limited.


Its characteristics are as follows:


1. Basically homogeneous products, such as basic chemicals or gasoline.


2. Relatively few sellers, such as some big companies and many small companies following big companies.


3. Companies monitor each other's market prices. If they raise their own prices, customers will not lose too much.


At present, the group meal is not satisfied with any of them. Whether it's product or service, the group meal competition is quite fierce. Moreover, in a pattern dominated by Party A, it is impossible to raise the price of group meals at will.

Not big enough?

Is the area possible?

In addition, one of the simplest criteria for judging industry monopoly is the market share of head enterprises. In the anti-monopoly rules, the share standard for whether the market is monopolized is as follows:


1. An operator's share in the relevant market reaches 1 / 2;


2. The total share of two operators in the relevant market reaches 2.3;


3. The total share of the three operators in the relevant market reaches 3.4;


None of the above three standards can be achieved by any group catering enterprise.


In China, the market concentration of the top 100 group food enterprises is only 5%. In the United States, the top five group meals occupy 80% of the market share, and the top five of Japan and South Korea also account for 60%.

It is understood that only 3% of the top 100 group catering enterprises in China have a revenue of more than 3 billion. Comparatively speaking, the Chinese group meal market is still very scattered, and the head brand is not top-notch, which has great development potential.


At present, in addition to the medium and fast food enterprises in the South and Qianxihe in the north, a large number of small and medium-sized group meal enterprises are still "small, scattered and weak", and there is no real group catering enterprise covering the whole country. There is no doubt that this is a huge ant market.


However, some analysis points out that the group meal "overlord" has emerged in the regional market.


There are group food brands such as Jinfeng, kuaijieli and jianliyuan in Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei, maijindi and lvjie in Shanghai in Yangtze River Delta, Changkuai and Shuwang in Anhui, and Hongjun catering in Dongguan in southern Pearl River Delta. As the "waist enterprises" in the field of group meal, they have made outstanding achievements respectively.

In addition, many group catering enterprises are in contact with capital to enter the market this year. At present, the most likely listing is McKinnon land in Shanghai. Since its establishment ten years ago, it has been focusing on the white-collar market, covering high-tech industrial parks, government agencies, large-scale state-owned enterprises and the world's top 500. As early as 2015, it has achieved 1 billion revenue.


In the view of the outside world, the group meal is a relatively closed business unit, and there are certain grey areas in the management attributes. Tuan Tuan often hears a voice: "the regional group meal market is in the social state of acquaintances, and it is difficult to share food. Even if it is a large group meal or a foreign enterprise, it is difficult to pry. This is actually a kind of regional monopoly."


However, the real operation monopoly does not constitute.


Among the well-documented fine cases about catering monopoly, the earliest one is the punishment decision of the catering industry monopoly agreement case in Bailin Zuoqi, Chifeng City, which was investigated and dealt with by the market supervision and Administration Bureau of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region by the State Administration of market supervision and administration in 2019. The catering industry chamber of Commerce in Balinzuoqi and four enterprises involved in the case were fined 650000 yuan for the monopoly of boycott transactions.


The details of the penalty lie in that the chamber of Commerce implements the "binding bidding procurement" system for some food and beverage services with large consumption, such as beer, liquor, cereals and oils, meat and seasoning, for the sake of reducing the purchasing cost of raw materials and ensuring the quality and safety of raw materials, The member units participating in the unified procurement activities shall not purchase the same kind of commodities from the operators other than the bid winning units, and shall not sell the contracted commodities to the non member units at a price lower than the bid winning price.


But in the current group meal business process, has been very transparent“ In the past, some people always criticized the bidding operation of group catering enterprises, but Party A has first recognized the companies bidding, and many enterprises let trade unions and representatives of the masses participate in the evaluation. " Beijing maijindi general manager Li Yadong thinks.


In addition, when it comes to the so-called regional characteristics, Li Yadong points out that the regional group meal can become bigger because the local group meal enterprises have more customers and more information, and can get familiar with and understand by Party A in advance. "Localization of cooks and service personnel and localization of dishes' taste must have advantages over other companies."  

Group meal supply chain or information platform

Can "monopolize"?


Some people believe that if there is an "oligopoly" in the catering industry, it can only be supply chain enterprises or platforms.


With the continuous improvement of domestic infrastructure, Internet and logistics system, the pattern of catering and food supply chain industry is emerging, and leading supply chain brands appear in each subdivision track.


From the perspective of different fields, the catering supply chain can be divided into several categories


The first category: fresh B2B platforms, such as meicai.com for small and medium-sized catering merchants, and meituan's fast ass;


The second category: the supply chain brand split from traditional catering enterprises, with central kitchen and product R & D capabilities. For example, the Shuhai supply chain of Haidilao mainly serves large and medium-sized chain catering customers;


The third category: catering supply chain focusing on a certain track, such as Wangjiahuan, a catering material supplier for the service group, Yunong, which focuses on the supply of clean vegetables, and Kungfu fresh food collection, a fast food supply chain under zhenkung.

The fourth category: single category food supply chain, such as xinliangji, a vertical food supply chain focusing on food and beverage explosive products, positioning the pot circle food collection of hot pot barbecue one-stop food supermarket, Qianwei central kitchen, Anjing, Sanquan in the supply chain of quick-frozen products


These supply chain brands are rapidly deployed in their respective tracks, but the food supply chain is very large and the track is scattered. Test the degree of control upward, test the service ability downward, and test the logistics and information capability at the same time.


If you only look at the group meal supply chain, Wangjiahuan is undoubtedly the most competitive. As the leader of the group meal distribution track, Wangjiahuan has an annual turnover of more than 2 billion yuan. The group meal distribution business almost occupies the whole South China market. In the context of the epidemic situation, it has sufficient ammunition to enter the national market.


As a leading enterprise in the domestic food supply chain, Shuhai has been gradually exploring the distribution of food materials for enlarging the group meal scene. It is believed that its share will continue to expand in the future.


However, if an oligopoly is formed, this goal will be extremely difficult to achieve in the short term.


What about the information platform for group meals?


At present, the leading construction in this area, represented by Xiyun information and mankebao, has formed a certain ecology


It is a one-stop intelligent canteen solution, which covers the whole process management of canteen as the core product, and has the integration of various intelligent software and hardware systems, as well as the online and offline operation capabilities.


In addition, smart canteen equipment manufacturers with software and hardware R & D capabilities have also emerged.


Such as intelligent production equipment and settlement equipment manufacturers Xiongwei technology, Dingshun technology, Nanjing Xiaoniu, Datang Zhixun, etc.

However, due to the more stakeholders involved and the longer and more complex industrial chain, the demands of informatization promotion are different. At present, there is no information enterprise that can output complete solutions, and the market share can not be centralized.