Chinese market regulator improves protection of food delivery workers
Food delivery platforms in China will be required to guarantee riders' income above minimum pay, insurance and a relaxation in deadlines for deliveries, under reforms announced by China's market regulator on Monday.
The guidelines were issued by the State Administration for Market Regulation along with six other administrative departments, including the National Development and Reform Commission, the Cyberspace Administration of China and the Ministry of Public Security.
Food delivery platforms, including Meituan and Alibaba's Ele.me, have drawn severe criticism on social media for their treatment of delivery riders, most of whom are not covered by basic social and medical insurance.
Under the new guideline, the "strictest algorithm" should not be used as an assessment requirement and the delivery time requirements should be appropriately relaxed.
Platforms should participate in social insurance programs for the food delivery personnel they employ, it said.
The guideline also stressed the importance of efforts to ensure traffic safety for food couriers, and called for more smart kiosks and the development of smart helmets.
Meituan's Hong Kong-listed shares slumped nearly 14 percent, against a 4.13 percent drop in the Hang Seng Index.