Meituan Waimai, one of China’s three largest online catering service platforms, has fired an employee for regional discrimination in recruitment which triggered a public outcry. The employee, Tian Yuan, sparked an online uproar Wednesday as viral posts showed Tian asking for recommendations of a candidate for the company’s position of product operator by offering a reward of 10,000 yuan ($1,450). However, Tian requires the applicants to be none of those people who “look ugly in resume,” “are graduate or PhD,” “drive Volkswagen-branded car,” “believe in traditional Chinese medicine” and “are from Huangfan region and Northeast China.”…Full Article: May 2017

Key Point

  • Huangfan region primarily encompasses Henan Province. As such, some Meituan users from Henan stated they would uninstall the app.

ChinaAg Comments

  • In February 2017, the China Food and Drug Administration mandated that online restaurants have brick-and-mortar stores. The requirement to force online restaurants to have brick-and-mortar stores is designed to ensure that the major online delivery businesses of Meituan, Eleme and Baidu work with registered/licensed eateries.
  • From December 2016 to early January 2017, the Beijing Food and Drug Administration (BFDA) ordered 225 online meal ordering/delivery businesses to close, as well as 4,409 registered restaurants to “overhaul their practices”. The majority of the offending businesses were registered with Baidu Waimai, Meituan Waimai, and Eleme.
  • In August 2016, Beijing Food and Drug Administration (BFDA) announced they began investigating Baidu Waimai, Meituan Waimai, and Eleme. According to the BFDA, they will investigate restaurants or food providers from all three e-commerce websites. Violations typically entail fines of up to CNY 200,000 (US$30,145) for the hosting e-commerce platforms.
  • In early 2016, Meituan Waimai operated in approximately 250 Chinese cities.
  • In November 2015, according to Data Center of China Internet (DCCI), Baidu Waimai had a 32% market share, followed by Meituan Waimai at 31.2% and Eleme at 29.8%.
  • In June 2015, Alibaba and Ant Financial acquired Koubei [50/50 joint venture, US$483.3 million each] to counter the Tencent-backed [see also] Meituan-Dianping online platform.

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