At last, fast food may be at your doorstep!

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - HK | BUSINESS -

There has been a heated de­bate in the Leg­isla­tive Coun­cil on how far Hong Kong has fallen be­hind its com­peti­tors in the race to be the re­gion’s smartest city.

Based on the ob­ser­va­tions of the po­lit­i­cal lead­ers, the SAR is lag­ging be­hind ma­jor cities on the Chi­nese main­land.

The gov­ern­ment is in the cross hairs for drag­ging its feet in in­tro­duc­ing some of the lat­est com­mu­ni­ca­tion tech­nolo­gies in Hong Kong. Al­though there has been talk of city-wide high-speed WiFi cov­er­age for years, ac­cess re­mains lim­ited to just a few ar­eas.

In Shang­hai, for in­stance, com­muters sim­ply hail a taxi on­line when­ever they need one. In Hong Kong, the po­lice are clamp­ing down on Uber and other car-hail­ing ser­vices which dare to chal­lenge the en­trenched in­ter­ests of po­lit­i­cally well-con­nected taxi own­ers.

Oc­to­pus Card was a pi­o­neer of cash­less pay­ment ser­vices not only in Hong Kong, but also in the re­gion. How­ever, with­out the co­op­er­a­tion of banks, its us­age is re­stricted mainly to pub­lic trans­port and grocery shop­ping.

Many fast-food restau­rants take or­ders for home de­liv­ery. But, what’s the use to con­sumers when prompt de­liver y ser­vices can only be as­sured out­side the busy lunch or din­ner time hours. If you place an or­der on­line, say, around 7 pm, you’d be lucky if you can get your food de­liv­ered to your home within two hours.

Some leg­is­la­tors, in­deed, com­plained that Hong Kong peo­ple are be­ing un­fairly de­nied the con­ve­nience that tech­nol­ogy brings them. Oth­ers blamed con­sumers for their re­luc­tance to use the ser­vices be­cause they don’ t trust cy­ber­se­cu­rity.

What­ever the rea­son, there’s hope that things will change for the bet­ter, at least for those who crave to have their meals de­liv­ered to their homes. At least three food de­liv­ery ser­vices are veer­ing for your fa­vor. And they want your busi­ness so much that they’re will­ing to serve you at a loss, for now.

UberEATS, for in­stance, has signed up more than 1,000 de­liv­ery “agents” de­liv­er­ing food of your choice from 1,200 eater­ies rang­ing from a cane juice spe­cial­ist in the MidLevels to shark-fin restau­rants fa­vored by prop­erty moguls and bank­ing ty­coons.

But if your bath­room faucet breaks, you’d be out of luck. In my case, the re­place­ment com­po­nent, which costs only about $30, has to be or­dered from a seller on Ebay. It took two weeks for the item to get here.

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

UberEATS has lined up ‘de­liv­ery agents’ to have food de­liv­ered to cus­tomers’ homes at short no­tice.

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