With 26 million Shanghai residents placed under lockdown for over two weeks with food shortages, China’s leading Internet technology giants have lent a hand to support the city against the surging Omicron variant.
Last week, Alibaba’s food delivery platform Ele.me, grocery e-commerce platform Hema Fresh, supermarket chain RT-Mart and express delivery platform Cainiao allocated thousands of frontline workers to Shanghai to ensure the city’s supply and distribution of goods ran smoothly.
JD, the leading Chinese logistics company, announced that they will provide over 16 million daily necessities to Shanghai residents, including rice, flour and oil which will be enough for a one-month supply for local customers. More than 2,000 couriers have joined the frontline to ensure delivery for consumers, said Wenbo Wang, vice president of JD.com.
Earlier this month, JD also launched autonomous delivery robots in the city’s Pudong area to provide contactless delivery for neighbourhoods under lockdown. With multiple sensors and AI technology, JD’s robot can recognise and avoid obstacles, and plan its route, which can hugely increase the efficiency of delivering groceries.
In addition, the food delivery platform Meituan made agreements with nearly 50 hotels, offices, and small-sized stadiums to offer free accommodation for over 4,500 delivery drivers and food sorting logistics personnel during their service in Shanghai.
With the help of Internet giants, Shanghai is able to cope and survive the latest wave of COVID, one that has created widespread issues for the city’s inhabitants.
This service not only increases brand value within Shanghai’s population, but also across China, as the nation can see the efforts Chinese brands are going to in order to safeguard people’s wellbeing during the pandemic. For the corporations, this situation works well in their favour, allowing them to test the latest innovations added to their service whilst also providing brand value.