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Foodpanda's quick Japan exit highlights Asia's delivery wars

Operators rethink growth strategy after COVID-driven expansion boom

Foodpanda's hopes for the Japanese market were dashed by increasing competition and a shortage of drivers following a COVID-induced boom. (Photo by Takaki Kashiwabara)

SINGAPORE/TOKYO -- Just over a year after entering the Japanese market, Germany's food delivery giant Delivery Hero -- known for its Foodpanda brand in Asia -- announced it was pulling out, citing increased competition and a shortage of drivers.

The divestment highlights the challenges for food delivery operators in Japan and elsewhere in Asia, where regional players face off against global giants. Though the delivery market is expected to continue to grow, operators are being forced to rethink their growth strategy, with analysts saying more industry consolidation is expected in the coming years.

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