BEIJING, Jan. 7 (Xinhua) -- Beijing's food safety watchdog has ordered 225 online meal ordering and delivery businesses to close shop since December, local officials said Saturday.
According to Beijing Food and Drug Administration, most of the problem stores were operating without a license. They were registered on the country's three largest online catering service platforms -- Meituan Waimai, Baidu Waimai, and Ele.me.
Up to 98 percent of the 66,000-plus food stores on the three platforms have provided proper licenses, said Li Jiang, an official with the administration, adding that the public is invited to report unlicensed online food stores to his office.
The food watchdog also ordered 4,409 food shops registered on the three platforms to overhaul their practices.
It has become popular in big Chinese cities to order meals online and have the food delivered within an hour, thanks to the development of online commerce and the low cost of operating a delivery team. But complaints have grown about the sanitary conditions of some unlicensed kitchens listed online.