Passengers on some Chinese bullet trains will be able to order food online from restaurants and have it delivered to their seats starting on Monday [17 July 2017], as the railway operator looks to diversify meal choices. The China Railway Corp ticket-booking website and app will allow users who intend to pass through selected stations to preorder meals, either from the train’s catering service or partner businesses, such as KFC…Full Article: July 2017

Key Points

  • The food delivery service will initially serve 27 high-speed rail stations located in 24 cities including Shanghai, Tianjin, Zhengzhou, Guangzhou and Nanjing.
  • In January 2017, Shanghai Railway Bureau worked with Eleme (online restaurant delivery) to launch a food delivery service to service 25 high-speed routes. After a month the service was indefinitely suspended owing to logistical challenges.

ChinaAg Comments

  • In April 2016, Eleme received US$1.25 billion in financing from Alibaba Group Holding and Ant Financial Services Group (Alibaba’s financial division). In addition, Eleme stated it would work with the online payment application Alipay (Alibaba).
  • In March 2016, Eleme was fined CNY 120,000 (~US$18,400) stemming from a November 2015 violation of Chinese food safety laws relating to working with non-licensed Beijing restaurants who uploaded fake photos and addresses.
  • In January 2014, Shanghai Metro banned food and drink on its trains. The following cities have also banned eating on their respective mass transit systems: Hong Kong, Guangzhou (2009), and Xi’an (2011).
  • In July 2011, Eleme expanded into the cities Beijing and Hangzhou, and later into Guangzhou and Tianjin in March 2012.
  • Founded in 2009 and headquartered in Shanghai, Eleme (“Hungry Yet?”) is an e-commerce platform that focuses on restaurant food delivery.

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