On Wednesday, the Guangdong Food and Drug Administration (FDA) held a conference with three Chinese leading food delivery platforms – Alibaba-backed Ele.me, Meituan Waimai, a food delivery arm of group-buying site Meituan, and Baidu Waimai to review reform results from March.
In March, about one week after China’s state television broadcaster CCTV criticized Ele.me for its food safety problem during an annual gala on World Consumer Rights Day, the Guangdong FDA launched a crackdown on online food ordering services. It also asked the Guangdong branch directors of Ele.me, Meituan Waimai, and Baidu Waimai to rectify the problems existing on their platforms including delivering food from unlicensed restaurants and unsanitary food.
Now the results are out. After the Guangdong FDA examined 2334 offline restaurants, 195 of them were asked to reform and 112 were either closed because they didn’t have a business license, or were asked to acquire a license. In addition, Ele.me delisted 357 restaurants in Guangzhou from their platform and Meituan Waimai delisted about a hundred.
Even so, the Guangdong FDA said there are still unlicensed operators offering takeout services on Ele.me and Meituan Waimai. At the meeting, it asked the three platforms to strictly examine the qualifications of the restaurants who are applying to provide online services. Moreover, it required the platforms to demonstrate their business licenses, awards and other licenses on the platform. The platforms were also asked to check the online restaurants’ qualifications and conduct regular offline surveys.
The three platforms said they will do as the FDA requested to ensure everyone can have access to safe and healthy food.
According to a report released by research institute Analysys in January 2016, the scale of the food delivery market in 2015 was close to RMB 46 billion. Ele.me ranked first in the market with a market share of 33.7%. Meituan Waimai and Baidu Waimai followed with a market share of 33.1% and 19%, respectively.
(Top photo from news.edianshang.com.)