An Opentable-like application is "in talks" to lure investment from Alibaba Group, which, if successful, will mean that Alibaba joins the other two top Chinese dot-com firms Baidu and Tencent as investors.
The Alibaba's investment deal is expected to close by the end of this year, said Xie Xinfa, chief executive and founder of Meiweibuyongdeng, a Shanghai-based online restaurant reservation and management service provider.
The firm will use the investment to improve the app's features to meet various demands from consumers such as allowing them to book tables in restaurants like "booking seats in cinemas," said Xie.
The app has previously drawn a $500 million investment from Baidu and Tencent-invested Meituan-Dianping.
By the end of last year, the app has been used in 20,000 restaurants nationwide with about 5 million daily reservations. It cooperates with Meituan-Dianping, Baidu and Alipay for online traffic sharing.