How Power Inequality Operates in the Gig Economy: Taking Chinese Food Delivery Platform Meituan as an Example


Sharing economy has become a buzzword in the world in recent years. Though it brings lots of convenience to individual daily life and boosts economic growth, it seems to perpetuate and even develop the unfairness between employers and workers, leading to the further deterioration of labour rights. Given this background, this paper will take Meituan as an example to analyse how power inequality operates in the gig economy. Firstly, the presentation forms and possible reasons and consequences of inequalities existing between different stakeholders will be analysed in detail, involving that between riders and the platform, riders and restaurants, riders and customers, restaurants and the company, as well as unfairness between different consumers. Secondly, an analysis of the operating mechanism of inequalities in Meituan will be made from a holistic perspective, followed by a reflection of all the possible results of the unfairness in Meituan. Finally, a conclusion will be made, which argues that the power inequalities between various parties come to fruition through the regulation and algorithm introduced by Meituan, leading to the situation where a few capitalists win at the expense of the interests of the other three stakeholders and even the whole society in an attempt to provide a reflection on the current state and contribute to the development of the future of sharing economy towards a more equal and ideal direction.

Author Information
Jialu Chen, King’s College London, United Kingdom

Paper Information
Conference: ECAH2022
Stream: Arts - Social

This paper is part of the ECAH2022 Conference Proceedings (View)
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To cite this article:
Chen J. (2022) How Power Inequality Operates in the Gig Economy: Taking Chinese Food Delivery Platform Meituan as an Example ISSN: 2188-1111 – The European Conference on Arts & Humanities 2022: Official Conference Proceedings
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon