Food ordering app Meituan launches contactless delivery amid China coronavirus outbreak

Customers can ask the courier to drop their meals off at a designated area and then retrieve them

Published: 7:34pm, 29 Jan, 2020

As grocery stores empty out, food delivery is very important to those who are stuck at home. (Picture: Reuters)
As grocery stores empty out, food delivery is very important to those who are stuck at home. (Picture: Reuters)

As grocery stores empty out, food delivery is very important to those who are stuck at home. (Picture: Reuters)This article originally appeared on ABACUSThe coronavirus outbreak in China is challenging tech companies to think creatively about carrying on with business. Now that customers might worry about getting infected by their food couriers and vice versa, food ordering app Meituan is launching “contactless delivery” across the country.

The new feature allows users to have their food delivered to a designated area without having to interact with a courier in person. Meituan said it installed large meal retrieval cupboards around hospitals where hospital personnel can pick up their orders. Contactless delivery will first be available in Wuhan before rolling out to 184 cities across the country.Since the outbreak, many Chinese urbanites have confined themselves to their homes, especially in Wuhan, where the outbreak originated. In some of the hardest-hit cities, severe lockdown measures have been put into place, including traffic bans. Many grocery stores and supermarkets have been emptied out in Wuhan as residents stock up on supplies.Purchase the China AI Report 2020 brought to you by SCMP Research and enjoy a 20% discount (original price US$400). This 60-page all new intelligence report gives you first-hand insights and analysis into the latest industry developments and intelligence about China AI. Get exclusive access to our webinars for continuous learning, and interact with China AI executives in live Q&A. Offer valid until 31 March 2020.