(Yicai Global) Sept.9 – Online food orders are flourishing against the backdrop of Internet+, but all sorts of shady goings on around the food ordering platform have frequently come to light, prompting a strong public backlash. Yet although government frequently interviews food ordering platform, the effects of their corrective actions seem far from obvious.
Consumers are starting to fret that the dinners they order online may come from undocumented, unlicensed joints with only one stove and no business premises, or that those preparing their dinner may transmit communicable diseases.
"Talk to a third-party? What can he do for you? Can he help you enforce the law? Help you go and view the restaurant? These kinds of interviews have no binding force and no deterrent effect," an expert long active in research into the food supervision and management system told Yicai.
Delivery workers with Web-based food ordering platform waimai.baidu.com also say that, "Baidu delivery currently conducts onsite evaluations of its alliance partner restaurants, but if the counterpart engages in fraud, our workers have no way of telling this."
The above expert said that the threshold for entry into the online food business is too low, and if you have one cook you can embark upon web-based provision of food in a flea market, but flea markets are difficult to supervise, since neither the public nor regulators can see them.
He believes that those providing victuals online must be fully-licensed and have actual premises.
"In order to save money, many operators receive documentation, but then fail to apply for a license, since they have no capability of satisfying the requirements, in any case, though this is certainly illegal," said Mr. Gao Lixin, cadre with the Taicang Administration for Industry and Commerce in Suzhou city, Jiangsu province in an interview with Yicai Global.
The above experts indicate that government regulators' attitude is too noncommittal and just conducting interviews is insufficient to solve the problem.
On Wednesday, nine online platforms such as eleme.com, meituan.com and waimai.baidu.com were interviewed by The Shanghai City Department of Food and Drug Supervision and Management, not the first time this year this has happened.