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KEY STAT | Food delivery orders tripled in early March as China returns to work

And bikes have become a preferable commute choice for workers to avoid crowds.

China’s online economy is recovering from months-long quarantine, as food delivery orders and shared bike usage experienced exponential growth recently, business stats provided by on-demand service platforms Alibaba’s Ele.me and Tencent-backed Meituan show.

Ele.me saw a nearly 200% increase in the number of meal orders in the past week, compared to the same period in early February, as more Chinese corporates ended the quarantine and resumed their operations.

The growth in orders coincides with the increase of restaurants reopening their businesses on Ele.me. The platform, which is the country’s second-largest food delivery service by market share, said that more than 80% of its vendors are now back to work.

On the other hand, according to Meituan’s data, 59% of its local life service providers and 64% of the restaurants resumed operations as of March 12.

As more and more provinces and cities reported no new infected cases, China is slowly recovering from the coronavirus outbreak that halted the country’s economic activity in the first quarter of 2020.

Other than food delivery orders, usage growth of Meituan’s shared bikes (formerly Mobike) also attests to the country’s resumption of economic activities. In the first week of March, its bike usage nationwide grew 86% compared to two weeks ago. The figure represents a whopping 187% increase in Beijing, as office workers are trying to avoid public transportation to get to their offices, according to Meituan.

As much as the pick-up in orders bodes well for the two on-demand giants, overall they are still suffering from loss in activity due to the epidemic outbreak, as pictured in the below graph.