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A Chinese government regulator has found up to 35,000 restaurants operating illegally on food delivery platforms like Meituan Dianping and Alibaba-owned Ele.me.

The Beijing Market Supervision Administration has opened up 2,100 cases against these restaurants after it found they did not have a license or carried a fake license. The regulator also accused the platforms of failing to set up a strict inspection system to review the quality of these food vendors.

It said it has also met with representatives from platforms including Meituan and Ele.me to “ensure the safety of online-ordered food”.

After the findings were announced, Meituan and Ele.me, which accounts for a combined 98% of the food delivery services market in China, said they were on board with the regulator’s direction and pledged to tighten the inspection of restaurants on their online platforms.

“We will use our Sky Net system, which provides a digital archive of all the merchants on Meituan, to strengthen our inspection mechanism and set up food safety insurance for users,” said Lu Weijia, chief food security officer at Meituan Dianping. 

“We’ll carry out what the Market Supervision Administration has asked us to do,” added an Ele.me spokesman, pointing out the platform has already established a credit system for food vendors, which will take unqualified suppliers offline permanently.