Hong Kong’s food delivery drivers have said they are not impressed by the job terms offered by mainland China’s Meituan looking to take a bite out of the city’s lucrative sector.
Some food delivery workers on Tuesday said Meituan’s employment terms were similar to those offered by Hong Kong companies and its chances of success were slim.
Aamir Paracha, who has delivered for Hong Kong’s Foodpanda for seven years, said he was “disappointed” with Meituan’s hiring plans because they proposed to recruit on a freelance basis, in line with existing operators Foodpanda and Deliveroo.
“Every one of us is working,” the 42-year-old said. “Either we want to work with a company that is paying us more or whichever company is giving us more benefits.
“If their payment scheme and benefits scheme is the same as Foodpanda and Deliveroo, then obviously we will think about it and we will go with the company where we can do more orders.”
The food delivery market in Hong Kong has been dominated by Foodpanda and Deliveroo after Uber’s exit in 2021. Meituan considered entering Hong Kong as early as 2018, but dropped the idea due to operational problems.
Deliveroo said competition was a “driving force for innovation” and added the “needs, well-being and personal development” of their riders was the firm’s top priority.
“Among our benefits, we provide free insurance protection, discounts towards daily living expenses such as fuel and food catering, as well as a comprehensive suite of upskilling initiatives,” Deliveroo said.
Foodpanda said it also welcomed new players in the market and that healthy competition led to more options for consumers, couriers and vendors.
“Customer demand towards delivery services is ever-changing, thus the introduction of a new player at this time is particularly encouraging, reflecting the continued potential for food and grocery delivery platforms in Hong Kong,” it said.
Foodpanda added it had mechanisms to “maintain and improve” the competitiveness of its couriers, with measures in place to support them, as well as regular reviews of its personal accidental insurance.
Meituan declined to comment on its expansion and recruitment plans in Hong Kong.