Shanghai officials are warning that shippers who do not have a COVID green pass will be punished accordingly. But some Chinese see a different picture.
State media, the People’s Daily, on May 2, reported that Shanghai had directed the police force to concentrate on delivery personnel who cannot present an “electronic passport” for traveling under lockdown.
The outlet reported that as of May 1, officials dealt with 579 drivers, with 591 individuals and 591 vehicles seized, and 330 people taken into custody.
According to Shanghai Securities News, unauthorized delivery drivers could face up to 10 days of detention and a fine of 500 yuan ($75).
One case is a 35-year-old man who decided to deliver some orders when he took his wife to the hospital for treatment. Unfortunately, he does not have an electronic passport, but the waiting time at the hospital was long, so he attempted to make some money in the meantime.
On Chinese Twitter-like Weibo, some users agreed that unauthorized drivers should be controlled to reduce the risks of COVID-19 transmission. However, others made an outcry about the city’s food shortage and logistical crisis and disapproved of the stringent control of unlicensed shippers.
According to Chinese media Da Ji Yuan, an online user said, many believe the shippers should not be punished harshly, as they only tried to make more money during a difficult time.
Another question is why Shanghai would make such a great effort to clamp down on unauthorized delivery men, but little has been done to discipline the neighborhood committee.
A person named Wang from Pudong district said the officials were only targeting the minor trifles but not the real issue. He said he had not been able to get supplies and was starving.
Since late April, multiple committees have been exposed for storing food supplies and letting them rot instead of distributing them to residents.