One of the most shared articles today on WeChat is “Delivery Drivers, Stuck in the System”, which has sparked a heated discussion among Chinese netizens. The article discusses the difficult working conditions and environment that the country’s 7 million delivery drivers face.
It concludes that being a delivery driver has become one of the most high-risk jobs in China. The article reveals that in the last few years Chinese delivery apps Meituan and Eleme have significantly reduced the maximum time allowed for each order. This was a result of intense competition in the market and improved algorithms for optimising profit.
If drivers fail to finish orders within the time limit, it can lead to a significant reduction of payment per order. Therefore, many drivers take risks when delivering, such as driving against the flow of traffic, speeding and skipping red lights, in order to deliver within the allotted time.
So far, Meituan has declined to comment on the issue but Eleme announced a new feature that allows users to show that they are willing to wait an extra 5 or 10 minutes for their delivery orders.