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China tech

Chinese startup Meituan's IPO marks comeback for founder

Food delivery unicorn aims for $4.2bn listing in Hong Kong amid struggles

A Meituan Dianping delivery person in Shenzhen. The company’s initial public offering in Hong Kong will give it a valuation of $52.8 billion, greater than U.S.-listed JD.com. (Photo by Nikki Sun)

HONG KONG -- In China, where people attach great importance to food, there is an old saying: min yi shi wei tian, which translates as "food is heaven to ordinary people."

Wang Xing, founder of Meituan Dianping, clearly understands the role eating plays in the country. The internet services platform -- known for its food-delivering services and restaurant reviews -- has drawn 340 million customers, almost half of China's internet users, in the eight years since it was founded.

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