Opinion / Opinion Line

Meal apps will fail if users find reviews cheating

(China Daily) Updated: 2016-07-18 09:35

Meal apps will fail if users find reviews cheating, the online food ordering and delivery app backed by e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, said the advertisement marks Bryant's first-ever endorsement for a Chinese internet company.[Provided to China Daily]

AFTER WAITING MORE than an hour for the lunch he had ordered via the app to be delivered, a customer in Ji'nan, East China's Shandong province, rated the restaurant negatively. Two days later, the restaurant owner found him and attacked him with a knife. says the app providers need to better regulate the restaurants that register with them:

The popularity of restaurants on apps depends on their customer ratings. With customers' opinions of a restaurant available to other app users, those restaurants that provide good food and a good service will attract the most orders, while those that get negative reviews will be shunned.

Because of this, some restaurants resort to paying people to give good reviews. In some cities, underground interest chains providing false five-star ratings for restaurants have already emerged.

If that trend continues, the meal-ordering apps will go out of business as people will feel cheated by the reviews that give a false impression of a restaurant. Worse, the whole internet economy will suffer, because the foundation for it, namely trust, will no longer exist.

Concerning the Ji'nan case specially, reports say the customer used dirty words against the restaurant; if that's true he should apologize, but that's no excuse for the restaurant owner to attack him. It is time for the app provider to better regulate the restaurants that register with it, or the app will lose public trust.

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