Business / Technology

Mealtime goes mobile for foodies

(China Daily) Updated: 2015-09-17 09:36

As the battle heats up in China's online-to-offline, or O2O, catering industry players are stepping up resources to boost their logistics capabilities.

"Food delivery is the toughest of all logistics services, because it must be delivered within an hour, it has high demand for temperature and when there is a bowl of soup, couriers must make sure that it won't spill," said Kang Jia, co-founder and chief operating officer of, which is financially backed by Baidu Inc and Inc.

"Few professional delivery companies offer such services," Kang said.

To make up for the deficiency, the company began to build its own team of couriers last year.

And now it has set up more than 180 distribution centers around 25 cities across China.

Other market players such as and Baidu Waimai, a food-ordering and delivery platform launched by Baidu Inc, are also catching up, although they have not announced detailed figures yet.

"Building up their logistical teams is better than cooperating with third-party firm because they will have better control of qualities," said Liu Xuwei, an analyst at Analysys International.

Now, to catch up with surging orders, the three companies are all working with third-party partners., for instance, announced in April that it had teamed up with KFC home delivery services.

"Ultimately, how fast companies can deliver food will be the defining factor of the catering fight," said Liu.

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