A deliveryman for Meituan-Dianping, China's largest on-demand service platform, delivers food in Beijing. (Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn)
Chinese tech platform Meituan-Dianping has ousted former champion Apple Inc to take the top spot of the 2019 Most Innovative Companies chosen by the U.S. business media outlet Fast Company, according to its official website.
Another Chinese tech giant Alibaba Group grabbed the No 15 spot among the total 50 winners, sought out from businesses across 35 industries.
Meituan-Dianping, which made its debut on Fast Company's list this year, was regarded as the most innovative company in the world by changing the ways that hundreds of millions of consumers buy food, book hotels and a lot more, said Fast Company.
"In the first half of 2018, the Chinese tech platform that expedites the booking and delivery of services such as food, hotel stays and movie tickets facilitated 27.7 billion transactions (worth $33.8 billion) for more than 350 million people in 2,800 cities," said the media outlet.
Besides providing quick delivery services, Meituan-Dianping also tracks users' consumption habits, such as price sensitivity, to recommend other things they'll like.
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba presented itself on the list mainly thanks to its "New Retail" sales model, a seamless blending of the digital and physical experience, according to Fast Company.
Its grocery-restaurant hybrid Hema Xiansheng stores, or Freshhippo in English, are a showpiece of this kind of "New Retail" by providing on-site cooking, free-delivery within a 30-minute distance, and other personalized services.
There are more than 100 Hema Xiansheng stores in 19 cities in China, with annual average sales per square meter exceeding $7,300 in mature Hema locations, making it one of the more valuable retail environments, Fast Company commented.
Apple Inc's ranking, on the other hand, plummeted from the first spot last year to No 17 in 2019. "They didn't really break new ground with their devices, and hardware sales were sluggish," Fast Company senior editor Amy Farley told CNBC on Wednesday.
But Apple's A12 Bionic chip was regarded the company's most impressive new product of 2018, since it is the industry's first processor based on a seven-nanometer manufacturing process with faster performance and lower power consumption, Fast Company said.
Other companies included in the top 10 rankings are Singapore-based ride-hailing company Grab, which claimed the No 2 spot this year and forced Uber out of the Southeast Asian market.
The NBA took the third spot as it holds people's attention in an age of distraction, said Fast Company, adding its streaming service grew subscribers by 63 percent, and total revenue increased 25 percent last year.
The century-old Walt Disney Company ranked No 4 this year for retooling the organization to deliver its own video services rather than license content to Netflix, gaining a footing in the streaming wars. Its streaming services such as Disney and ESPN have racked up a million subscribers in five months, Fast Company added.