tirsdag 12. april 2022

Group-Buying’ Becomes a Lifeline for Hungry Shanghai Residents

In the hours before her building went into lockdown on April 1, Ye Qiwei did the same thing as millions of others in Shanghai: She placed a huge grocery order via a delivery app. The 33-year-old spent nearly 500 yuan ($80) on fruit, vegetables, and meat — far more than she’d need, she assumed, as the government said the lockdown would only last for four days. She was wrong. Over a week later, her stockpile of food had almost run out — and the lockdown continued with no end in sight. Many of her neighbors were in a worse position, Ye says. One 80-year-old in her building said he’d been living solely on plain rice for three days.

“I was scared when I heard about it,” she says.

Buying more food was almost impossible. Like most of Shanghai’s 25 million residents, Ye and her neighbors are banned from leaving their apartments. The only way to order goods was using online delivery services, but the system was totally overwhelmed.