Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., together with its financial affiliate, is placing a $1.25 billion bet on Chinese food-delivery app Ele.me, further fueling the battle to deliver offline services to Chinese consumers through mobile phones, according to The Wall Street Journal. The move to back Ele.me comes after Alibaba reached a deal earlier this year to sell its stake in competing firm Meituan-Dianping, China’s largest online provider of movie ticketing, restaurant bookings and other on-demand services. Alibaba will invest $900 million in Shanghai-based Ele.me, and its financial affiliate Ant Financial Services Group will chip in a further $350 million. Ele.me’s Chinese name means, “Are you hungry?”
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