The front-page of, one of China's largest online food-delivery provider backed by Alibaba.

Baidu Waimai, the country’s third-largest food delivery service, has rebranded as Star.Ele, after being required to by its major competitor,, reported.

The new Star.Ele will serve as a high-end take-out and life service platform that strictly selects merchants and food to uphold a high-standard user experience.

Baidu’s food delivery business was taken over by in a deal worth 4.2 billion yuan (US$636 million) in August last year. was merged with another Alibaba-back competitor Koubei in October, in order to form a new local life-service company under Alibaba.

The merger is widely interpreted by the industry to counter the newly listed Meituan-Dianping group, whose current largest source of income comes from its food delivery business.

Thus, the rebranding of Star.Ele represents a footnote for the changing landscape of the online food delivery sector, which is shifting from a tripartite confrontation among Tencent-backed Meituan, Alibaba-backed and Baidu’s service, to a head-on battle between the first two, according to Technode.

Asia Times Financial is now live. Linking accurate news, insightful analysis and local knowledge with the ATF China Bond 50 Index, the world's first benchmark cross sector Chinese Bond Indices. Read ATF now.