Last Saturday, officials from the Chinese government required Meituan, Alibaba and other enterprises to hold a meeting, demanding that they effectively protect the rights and interests of workers such as food delivery riders.
The Ministry Emergency Management, the Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security jointly organized the meeting, emphasizing that the firms should attach importance to workers’ physical and mental health, optimize platform algorithms and refrain from formulating assessment indicators that harm workers’ safety and health.
Meituan and Meituan Delivery, Alibaba Group, Freshhema, Ele.me, Dada Group and other relevant platform economy enterprises in attendance indicated that they would improve their safety management and labor rights protection in strict accordance with relevant laws and regulations to promote the healthy development of platform economy.
In order to complete deliveries on time, most riders working for such platforms engage in risky behavior, including running red lights and riding in reverse. Besides, the riders’ rights and interests cannot always be guaranteed due to the lack of formal labor relations between the food delivery platforms and the riders.
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According to a financial report released by Meituan, by the end of 2020, the total number of riders making money through the Meituan platform was 4.7 million.
Stock prices of Meituan and Alibaba have also been affected by China’s recent regulation regarding labor relations. In particular, requirements such as providing social security and supplementing flexible employment insurance for contracted riders will increase labor costs.
Meituan‘s share price fell 17.66%, with a cumulative decline of more than 25% for two consecutive days. As the parent company of Ele.me, Alibaba also fell more than 10% in two trading days.