Major Chinese online grocery platforms are increasing their product supplies in Beijing as residents rush to stock up on food and daily supplies after the capital city announced a surge of local Covid cases.
Beijing health authority said on April 24 that the city found a local Covid outbreak has spread for a week, with more than 40 local cases since April 22, prompting locals to worry about facing lockdowns and supply shortages like Shanghai.
Why it matters: Having learned from what happened in Shanghai, China’s online grocers respond quickly to a surge in demand in Beijing. However, pressure on operation and supply chains remain as potential omicron outbreaks expand to other cities in the country.
Details: Chinese online grocers like Meituan, Dingdong Maicai, and JD increased their stock and extended operation times as Beijing residents rushed to online platforms and offline supermarkets to stock up on daily supplies, such as food and toilet paper.
- On Monday, Meituan’s grocery arm Meituan Maicai will increase product supplies three to five times and raise its sorting workforce by 70%. On top of that, the company said the service would begin receiving and delivering orders around the clock starting April 24.
- Alibaba’s Freshippo and JD’s 7Fresh plan to double or triple their stock, while Dingdong Maicai will increase its stock of staple goods by 150%, local media outlet GeekPark reported.
- On April 24, Dingdong Maicai saw a 50% growth in daily orders in Beijing. The platform said it plans to increase supplies to Beijing by 1.5 times and has set up a dedicated group to ensure deliveries in Beijing.
- Offline supermarket chains Carrefour and Wumart expect to triple their usual stock.
Context: Beijing has reported a sudden spike in locally confirmed infections since April 22, with 42 Covid-19 cases reported over the past three days.
- Shanghai residents have had difficulties buying food supplies online since ongoing Covid-19 prevention measures immobilized more than 25 million people in the city over the past month.
- Online grocery platforms have served as a lifeline for residents in Shanghai since a city-wide lockdown began in late March. However, surging orders quickly overloaded the city’s online grocery operations.