(Yicai Global) March 13 -- Beijing's market regulator found problems at nearly 35,000 catering and takeout service providers in the capital, including at ones doing business through Meituan Dianping, Ele.me and China's other leading online food delivery platforms.
The issues popped up during a recent campaign to regulate online food delivery services carried out by the Beijing Administration for Market Regulation, state-owned Xinhua News Agency reported today. It also investigated and filed 2,100 lawsuits against catering operators and online food ordering platforms that had severely violated regulations and broken the law.
The watchdog summoned the five main domestic online food delivery platforms, including Tencent Holdings-backed Meituan Dianping and Alibaba Group's Ele.me, for an inquiry a few days ago and announced the remedial results from the campaign.
Guilty platforms did not fully fulfill their food safety responsibilities, the regulator believed, as they did not conduct strict review and management of caterers registered on the platforms. This led to some units operating without a license or counterfeiting certificates as well as not complying with the rules and regulations on information disclosure, it added.
The administration urged the platforms to strengthen daily inspections and examinations of online vendors, make sure that their shops have clear and complete licenses and certificates, that they are required to disclose and take timely measures to deal with units that violate regulations. The platforms should also handle customer complaints and reports in time and be ready to respond to any crisis.
In response, Ele.me said it has been actively taking action on various demands the regulator made. The Shanghai-based company has set up a 24/7-customer service team, introduced a credit ratings system for shops, and launched a one-click food safety and service quality compensation function for customers.