Online food delivery service platform Eleme announced on Wednesday it will release a new feature that will allow diners to give delivery workers more time to deliver meals.
Eleme said in a statement that the new feature will add a button on the consumer's page after payment, saying, "I am willing to wait five or 10 more minutes". If the user is not in a hurry, they can click on the button to give the delivery person a little more time.
The statement is the company's response to an online article that aroused wide public attention on delivery workers' safety.
The article revealed that delivery work has become a highly dangerous career driven by tight delivery times assigned by the algorithms of food delivery platforms.
Often allocated with a number of orders and pushed by tight deadlines, delivery workers frequently violate traffic rules, potentially endangering themselves and others, the article said.
Many netizens were unimpressed by Eleme's response, with some seeing the company's new directive as a way to shift the responsibility of delivery workers' safety to customers.
Yang Wenzhan, a civil and commercial lawyer at Zhongdun Law Office based in Beijing, said it is the platform that makes the rules and forces delivery workers to take risks.
When the topic became widely discussed, the platform announced the new "humane" feature, but it is suggesting that consumers should be the group with more tolerance, he said.