UPDATE 1-China's Meituan on hiring spree for 60,000 jobs as expands into new sectors

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BEIJING, June 9 (Reuters) - Chinese food delivery giant Meituan said it aimed to hire 60,000 new employees in 2021 as the company expands into new areas of businesses such as group community buying.

Meituan’s plan includes recruiting engineers, customer managers, and logistics professionals, the company said in a statement on Wednesday. The company, whose services also include hotel booking and bike sharing, had a total of around 69,000 employees at the end of 2020, according to its annual report.

The Beijing-based company’s aggressive hiring plan comes amid regulators’ tightened scrutiny on the platform companies in the country.

China’s market watchdog announced an antitrust probe into Meituan in April, focusing on a practice whereby a company forces vendors to use its platform exclusively.

Meituan, which has in total reported five profitable quarters since it made its stock market debut in 2018, reported two consecutive quarterly losses for the quarters ended December and March, weighed down by its expansion into the community group-buying business that relies heavily on subsidies.

In April, Meituan raised $10 billion in a stock and convertible bonds sale, and said at the time it planed to use its new warchest to invest in autonomous delivery vehicles, delivery drones and other cutting-edge technology. (Reporting by Yingzhi Yang and Tony Munroe in Beijing, editing by Louise Heavens)