(Yicai Global) May 24 -- Chinese takeout heavyweight Ele.me, will roll out new functions in its mobile app as early as next month to ensure that details of its 20 million users, including name and phone number, are masked from its delivery drivers when ordering, part of efforts to eliminate the potential for harassment and data leaks.
The platform's Shanghai-based operator Lazhasi Network Technology Co. will roll out a function so couriers and merchants are only able to contact customers temporarily through a randomly-generated virtual number and the app's built-in chat feature, news site TechWeb reported, adding that these two means of contact will expire once each order has been completed.
"The key to protecting user information security is technology," said an official from the company. "Technical problems with virtual number technology previously made it impossible for some phones to be connected, but hey have now been successfully resolved."
China's online takeout market surpassed CNY200 billion (USD31.3 billion) last year, covering more than 300 million users, with Ele.me's market share exceeding 50%. The country's biggest e-commerce firm Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. bought out the service in April this year with its valuation reaching around USD9.5 billion.
The platform had already provided an option for users to anonymize their details when ordering since 2016, which protected sensitive information related to some 100 million transactions to date.
Editor: William Clegg