Shanghai riders’ life and business experience: some people are trapped at home, some people sleep in bridge caves at night, and some people earn more than 10,000 yuan a day

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Text/Xi Rui

Source/Tech Planet (ID: tech618)

Supplies of supplies have become tight since the lockdown in Shanghai. In addition to community group buying, the 25 million Shanghai residents can only rely on the riders who are still in the streets and alleys.

Currently, less than 20,000 riders are supporting the “last 100 meters”. In the past, the number was 80,000. The vast majority of riders are trapped in the community due to epidemic prevention and control and cannot return to work. It also means that they have lost their source of income during this time. For them, it is not a small loss.

The little brother rider who is still running around may never have thought that he would have such a special experience.

Tech Planet interviewed a number of riders who have returned to work and insisted on being busy on the front line. Most of them are overloaded, and at least hundreds of orders need to be delivered every day, and it is the norm to work until the early hours of the morning. Behind every order is a family who is anxiously waiting. They can solve one more family’s life difficulties by sending one more order.

But maybe no one knows that the riders can’t guarantee their three meals a day, and some don’t even have a bed that belongs to him.

The bustling and noisy Shanghai has now become silent when the pause button is pressed, leaving only the rushing figures of the riders and the galloping sound of electric vehicles. A young rider told Tech Planet that every time he passed an empty pedestrian street, he would think of the crowd of people before, “I don’t know how long it will take, I just hope to return to normal soon.”

60,000 riders are trapped in the community, waiting to return to work

Rider Li Yongqing was forced to lose his job. He has been trapped in a rental house in Pudong for 20 days.

“The price of a single errand is much higher than usual now, and it’s not just to make more money,” Li Yongqing said frankly to Tech Planet. He has been waiting for news from the company and is always ready to return to his post.

Without any warning, at 8:30 p.m. on March 27, Shanghai issued an announcement to carry out a new round of diced and gridded nucleic acid screening across the city. Li Yongqing was also locked up at his home in Pudong, Shanghai at that time.

On April 6, Shanghai officials gave data that during the lockdown period, a total of about 11,000 riders were running on the road every day. As of April 16, according to official data, there have been more than 18,000 overseas sales riders in Shanghai, and the number of daily delivery orders has reached about 1.8 million.

However, according to incomplete statistics, in the past, the number of daily delivery boys in Shanghai was around 80,000. This means that more than 60,000 riders are unable to provide delivery services.

They don’t have a pass and can’t go out. Since different regions in Shanghai have different access policies, even if e-commerce and takeaway platforms apply for a unified certificate, it may not be possible for the riders to return to work smoothly.

More than 60,000 riders were forced to stay at home, and the sudden “holiday” was a torment for them.

In addition to community group purchases, the acquisition and distribution of basic living materials for the 25 million Shanghai residents can only rely on the riders who are still in the streets and alleys. The lack of transportation capacity has led to errands and errands.

The price of running errands has skyrocketed, the traffic police on the road has become stricter, and he can’t find a place to eat. Li Yongqing relies on his colleagues and circle of friends to piece together a general understanding and cognition of the outside world. “My little brother who lives in the community next to me can hardly go out,” Li Yongqing told Tech Planet.

On April 4, the news that Li Yongqing’s wife was diagnosed with asymptomatic infection completely dispelled the idea of ​​returning to work. As a “close contact”, he can only be isolated at home. A week later, Li Yongqing was also diagnosed with asymptomatic infection.

On the day of the interview with Tech Planet, Li Yongqing was just transferred to the quarantine transfer station and continued to wait for the bed in the cabin.

“I actually turned overcast, but I was still pulled into isolation,” Li Yongqing explained helplessly to Tech Planet. Now for him, returning to work is no longer important. The most important thing now is to survive the isolation period and return to normal life.

Even those young riders who have not been diagnosed are actually the same as Li Yongqing. They were forced to “close business at home” for a month, but watched their colleagues around them still busy on the front line.

Rider “Frontline Battlefield”: Eat Cold Rice, Sleep in Bridge Cave

On March 26, launched an “emergency special needs” channel in Shanghai, which is specially designed for the elderly living alone, pregnant women, infants and young children, and the disabled.

On the first day of the launch of the “Emergency Special Needs” channel, rider Liu Zhengyuan was temporarily transferred to this department to be responsible for delivering medicines. At present, he has been driving a special car for more than 20 days, working until two or three in the morning every day.

Caring car riders like Liu Zhengyuan are all provided with basic living guarantees such as board and lodging by “I live in a hotel over there in Jiading, and I go to the pharmacy more than ten kilometers every day,” Liu Zhengyuan told Tech Planet.

Due to the epidemic prevention and control policy, the number of guaranteed hotels is far greater than the demand, and there are not many hotels that major platforms can provide for riders to stay.

Many riders sleep in bridge holes at night. (Photo provided by the interviewee) Many riders sleep in bridge holes at night. (Photo provided by the interviewee)

A Tmall supermarket rider told Tech Planet that they concentrated on food and lodging. “At present, they all live in the distribution station, some sleep on sofas, and some sleep on camp beds. Some of the distribution stations have hotels around them, so the hotels are included. There are very few hotel rooms, and several people need to sleep in one room.”

But they have been lucky enough. After more than ten hours a day, more riders may be waiting for icy bridge holes, roadside benches, and any corner that can shelter from the wind and rain.

When he knew that Yangpu District in Shanghai would be closed for 5 days, the rider Ge Zhen was ready to sleep on the street. He has a 5-day change of clothes and toiletries ready.

“I have been sleeping in a tricycle in a demolished house,” Ge Zhen told Tech Planet. “I didn’t find a place to sleep at first, so I sat on the side of the road and chatted with my colleagues. Some colleagues later slept in the bridge hole.”

Some riders spend the night in abandoned dilapidated houses. (Photo provided by the interviewee) Some riders spend the night in abandoned dilapidated houses. (Photo provided by the interviewee)

In Shanghai in early April, the temperature difference between day and night is large. Ge Zhen, who was out for the night, had no quilt, so he could only pick up cardboard from the roadside to cushion him for the night.

In Shanghai, which has just been closed and controlled, there are almost no shops on the roadside. Every day, Ge Zhen passed by his community between orders and ate a bite of noodles handed out by his wife from the community fence. After a simple satiety, Ge Zhen will quickly continue to take orders.

Ge Zhen’s work scope is in Yangpu District, specializing in the delivery of orders on the platform. Every day from eight in the morning to eight in the evening, at least twelve hours. “We need to deliver at least 50 orders a day, all of which are necessities of life,” Ge Zhen told Tech Planet.

He thought that such a day would only take 5 days to return to normal. But until now, the Yangpu District of Shanghai has not been lifted, and Ge Zhen has never returned to his community or home. “I didn’t expect to be locked up for so long.” Ge Zhen was very helpless on the other end of the phone.

The day of unblocking is still uncertain, and Ge Zhen moved the accommodation to his brother’s car. Although he doesn’t have to sleep on the street, Ge Zhen, who has been curled up in the driver’s seat, can’t guarantee enough sleep.

Before and after the Qingming Festival, the temperature in Shanghai approached 30 degrees, and in mid-April, heavy rain continued. The hot and cold weather made Ge Zhen unable to resist. “It was very sultry in the car a few days ago, and it is very cold at night these days. I have a little cold now,” Ge Zhen told Tech Planet.

In addition to accommodation, the problem of three meals a day also troubled Ge Zhen. He had not eaten for two consecutive nights.

Currently, only supermarkets and a few restaurants can open in Shanghai. Whether Ge Zhen can eat hot meals every day depends on luck. “Most of them eat instant noodles, and many meals are provided to volunteers, and they will be gone if they go late,” Ge Zhen told Tech Planet.

One morning, Ge Zhen saw an open bun shop on the delivery road. He hurriedly stopped for a hot breakfast. But what he didn’t expect was that the boss rejected him on the grounds that he only placed an order online, “the boss asked me to place an order online to sell it to me.”

Bypassing the platform to receive private orders, the daily income is thousands or even over 10,000

There are not a few riders who solve accommodation problems on their own like Ge Zhen. And even if there is a hotel to live in, the price will make them hesitate. After weighing it, Ge Zhen chose to continue in the car. “Before the company had a hotel where we could stay, it was originally 170 yuan a night, but now it has risen to 210 yuan.”

Ge Zhen couldn’t take errand orders, the delivery fee for each order was less than a few hundred yuan, and customers couldn’t give rewards. He revealed to Tech Planet that the delivery fee for an order is higher than usual, ranging from 15 yuan to 30 yuan, and now the price has also dropped.

This means that Ge Zhen’s distribution fee income is between 750 yuan and 1500 yuan a day. The cost of hotel accommodation was a lot of money for him.

In the face of the news circulating on the Internet that “the little brother who sells overseas makes tens of thousands a day”, Ge Zhen said that it does exist, but it is only limited to the little brother who takes errands.

Li Yongqing also told Tech Planet that his colleagues who are running errands earn between 5,000-6,000 yuan a day. “Now, errands for two or three kilometers can cost more than 100 yuan. A colleague sent a seven-kilometer errand for more than 800 yuan.”

Despite earning thousands of dollars a day, some riders began to take private orders in order to earn more errands. They may be professional riders from the platform, or they may just take a fancy to the opportunity to “make a fortune” and take the risk of acting as a temporary errand boy.

In Shanghai, the probability of successfully finding an errand boy through platforms such as Meituan and is getting smaller and smaller. Even if the tip is added to several hundred dollars, no one may take the order.

On platforms such as Douyin, it is a different story, with more and more people posting video ads for running errands. You can find a number of errand brothers near the community through positioning, and then conduct transactions through WeChat. Although bypassing the platform, this approach can effectively solve the problem.

“Your home is not far from me, and it’s not close to me. It’s 100 yuan. If you buy more things, you need to increase the price.” Liu Xin was stunned when she heard the language sent by an errand brother.

After being locked up in the community for dozens of days, Liu Xin’s family has run out of fast food. She doesn’t usually cook, and she doesn’t need vegetable packs, but instant noodles, cola, and ham. However, Liu Xin lives in an extremely aging community. The aunts in the group hardly have a group that specializes in making instant noodles. Most of them are rice noodles, grains, oil, meat, eggs, milk, and even a special group buying group with onion, ginger, and garlic, and there is no convenient dough purchase. .

Liu Xin estimated in her heart that the price of 10 packs of instant noodles should not exceed 30 yuan. If you add a box of Coke, the price of running errands will increase. “However, this is a sky-high errand fee.”

After hesitating again and again, Liu Xin tried to ask the younger brother if he had any documents and a 48-hour nucleic acid certificate. “I paid such a high price, at least to ensure that the things I bought are safe,” Liu Xin thought to herself.

The errand brother sent three voices in a row, explaining to her why the errand fee is so expensive now, and the price of cola will be twice as high as usual, but he avoided mentioning the issue of documents, and did not even reveal which platform he was a rider on.

For the sake of safety, Liu Xin gave up calling for errands privately and continued to browse various community group buying groups. “At least for group-purchased things, the neighborhood committee will kill them, and the prices are reasonable.”

On April 13, the Shanghai Market Supervision Bureau stated at a press conference on epidemic prevention and control that “we will take joint measures to further regulate the issue of the apparent increase in the price of express delivery fees and errand fees that everyone is concerned about”.

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