• A delivery guy rides his bicycle in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, on Jan. 18, 2007.

A delivery guy rides his bicycle in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, on Jan. 18, 2007. (Photo : Getty Images)

SSeveral online food delivery platforms in China are currently in hot water after it was discovered that more than 80 percent of their advertised eateries were in violation of industry regulations, the country’s food safety regulators said on Thursday, Nov. 12.

The websites, including Dianping.com, Ele.me and Meituan.com, have been ordered to fix the problems or face a fine of up to 200,000 yuan ($31,400), the Shanghai Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) said in a statement.

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The warnings were issued following an inspection of the credentials of 100 eateries listed on nine food delivery websites by the agency. 81 of those listed had problems, including operating without a license or falsified addresses, the agency said.

Unlicensed companies will also be punished, said Xu Jin, deputy director of the SFDA, adding that the checks were made in response to a growing number of complaints from consumers.

In a separate investigation carried out by the Shanghai Consumer Rights Protection Commission, Ele.me, one of China's biggest online food ordering service providers, was found to have issued catering license details to just 13 percent of the companies hosted on its website.

Several of the food providers, including a milk tea outlet in Shanghai's Changning District, were found to be either unlicensed or have fake documentation.

Similar issues were found on Meituan.com and Dianping.com, which were also allegedly hosting small-scale eateries that did not comply with Shanghai's hygiene regulations.

Food safety has become a major concern in China, where high-profile cases of food contamination covered national headlines in recent years.

Earlier this year, officials in northern China's Hebei Province issued a recall order after a Chinese company's milk products were found to contain dangerously high levels of sodium sulfocyanate. In 2008, 16 infants were hospitalized due to kidney stones after ingesting infant formula tainted with melamine.