Shanghai authorities have announced gradually lifting the lockdown in three stages as of May 16.

However, the announcement has not made delivery riders’ living conditions easier. By contrast, they have become the hunting target of policemen on the streets.

The strict epidemic control under lockdown has turned around 20,000 delivery riders homeless. As their community prevents them from returning to their houses to avoid the infection spreading, they are forced to live on the streets, under bridges, or at any possible shelter they can find.

In addition, since many riders only work in Shanghai but come from other cities, they have no family or friends they can ask for help; and if they cannot work, they have no money. They are abandoned to their fate.

In an interview with NTD News on May 17, a delivery rider named Lang Linnan said that police officers are currently chasing them away for fear that their street living may badly affect the city’s image.

At the same time, another delivery man shared with NTD News that he did not dare to set up a tent, fearing that the police may show up anytime. He said that while he kept watching out for the police.

Liu Jian, a Shanghai delivery man from Anhui province, said that the controls are currently much stricter. The police chase them almost everywhere. Therefore they always have to put away their tents quickly and be ready for a run-away.

Yan Dong, another Shanghai delivery rider from Anhui, said that policemen told them to go to a resettlement site on the riverside of Binjiang Avenue.

He reached the place but found nothing. He finally bought some cardboard boxes to sleep overnight on the main road.

According to Yan, there is no “so-called” resettlement site for the homeless like him. And what the authorities are trying to do is pretend to be kind on the surface.
As a food-delivery man in the Lujiazui area of Shanghai, Yan said that the roadblocks remained almost the same before the lifting-lockdown order. As a result, delivery workforce like him still have difficulties getting through the blockage and approaching residents in the so-called silent areas. These people rely almost entirely on them to obtain things.

Yan further added that his transactions with residents take place in secret amid China’s strict control measures. Because if the rider does not directly hand in the deliveries, the supplies would possibly be piled up at the community’s gate. The residents could end up not receiving their orders.

He said that the management is chaotic. He even joked, saying they felt like thieves under this type of lockdown.

According to the BBC, Shanghai’s lockdown has sent the lives of almost all delivery riders into complete chaos. They have been forced to live outside under poor living conditions and received practically no support from the government.

However, they had no other job opportunities to earn money under stringent lockdown. Coming from provinces, all they expect is to return to their hometown.
One rider told the BBC, “I’ll leave then. I don’t know how much longer I can hold on for.”

He continued, “I’m so done with Shanghai. Once I leave, I’ll never come back.”

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