China’s online food ordering platforms hit 80M monthly active users in 2017

The number of monthly active users on China’s online food ordering platforms hit 80 million in 2017. The thriving take-out food industry is changing both people’s eating habits and catering operators’ operation models.

The number of registered users on China’s online food ordering platforms rose to 300 million in 2017 from 110 million in 2013, and monthly active users hit 80 million, according to a report published by Meituan-Dianping, China’s largest group deals site.

People used to order only lunch and dinner on the platform. But in 2017, an increasing number of users also ordered breakfast and midnight snacks. Medicine, flowers, and fruits can also be ordered through the platform. The delivery time is about 30 minutes on average.

The thriving take-out food industry is changing people’s eating habits, with 52 percent of the users reporting they now cook by themselves less often.

In addition, data shows that the size of the online food ordering market was about 204.6 billion yuan ($32.4 billion) in 2017. More and more catering operators are choosing to join such platforms.

Data analyst Yang Xu said that access to the intelligent food ordering system improves the operators’ efficiency.

With the thriving industry and rising needs of online food ordering users, regulatory departments and food ordering platforms are also tightening oversight over operators to ensure food quality.

More Cambodians are celebrating the Chinese New Year: Prime Minister

Hun Sen on the Great Wall (File photo)

On Tuesday, Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen said on his Facebook page that the number of people celebrating Chinese Lunar New Year in Cambodia is increasing.

Cambodians now celebrate three New Year celebrations annually, including New Year’s Eve, Chinese Lunar New Year, and Cambodian New Year, the Prime Minister said.

Hun Sen said the fact that more and more people are celebrating the Chinese New Year is a gift of peace in Cambodia, which gives people the freedom to choose the celebration of festivals according to their traditions.

The Prime Minister also posted a 27-year-old picture of himself and his spouse on the Great Wall in Beijing.

Tsinghua’s debated admissions policy aimed at introducing more overseas talent

China’s prestigious Tsinghua University has come under fire recently after it released a set of admissions requirements for foreign applicants, with many Chinese netizens criticizing the school for offering “preferential admissions,” Southern Metropolis Daily reported on Jan. 31.

According to the university’s 2018 requirements for international bachelor’s degree applicants, foreign citizens may apply if they have a high-school diploma and are proficient in Chinese.

Some critics argue the new rules have made it much easier for foreigners to get into Tsinghua University, especially those who are originally Chinese. However, education experts say they do not lower standards for international applicants.

According to the new rules, applicants must pass two hurdles before receiving an admission offer from Tsinghua University: the online application and a comprehensive evaluation that is used by domestic universities to examine overseas applicants.

For those who have given up their original Chinese citizenship and have become foreign citizens, they should have lived overseas for at least two years during the last four years before April 30 in the year they are admitted by the university.

Peking University, Renmin University, Xiamen University, and other prestigious universities have also adopted the online application and comprehensive evaluation mechanism to examine undergraduate applicants.

Tsinghua says that the number of domestic students won’t be affected by international student recruitment.

Xiong Bingqi, an education expert, says the threshold has not been lowered for international students, and the online application and comprehensive evaluation mechanism eliminate some of the candidates, as the school only chooses the best.

Some experts suggest that more attention should be paid to how to strengthen the school’s ability to attract more exemplary overseas talents from across the world.

According to the country’s plan to internationalize its education, by 2020, some 500,000 foreign students will be admitted by all levels of schools, and a yearly growth rate of 6.94 percent in the number of foreign students will be achieved.