Zomato delivery staff burn uniforms to protest Chinese funding
Food delivery app Zomato is facing protests from its delivery executives in Kolkata who burnt their uniforms in a move to show their discontent with the company raising money from China-based Alibaba.

The protests which first surfaced on microblogging site Twitter indicated that a dozen Zomato delivery staff in Kolkata burnt the company’s uniform while protesting against its Chinese funding amid wider anti-China sentiments in the country. Alibaba owns about 26% in Zomato.

Sources close to Zomato explained that two weeks ago it had terminated jobs of around 6-7 employees near Behala police station in south Kolkata, as the people involved were trying to instigate a strike.

The company has also filed a police complaint against them, sources say. These protests have not affected the company operations.“Chinese companies are making a profit from us and attacking our ARMY. They are trying to grab our land. More then 100 deliveries boys burn their t-shirt to protest..,” a Twitter user said.

Zomato did not immediately respond to ET’s email seeking comment.

Earlier this week, Zomato’s existing investor InfoEdge said the food delivery company is yet to receive $100 million from the $150 million it raised from existing backer — China’s Ant Financial — in January this year. InfoEdge, which is a big shareholder in Zomato, said the effort is to bring onboard investors from outside of China.

Chinese investors – both strategic and financial – have pumped in $3.9 billion in 2019, up from $2 billion in 2018, ET reported earlier. In the process, they have emerged as the biggest backers of the country’s fast-growing digital economy, supplanting the United States. Unicorns including Paytm, Oyo, Ola, BigBasket, among others have raised capital from Chinese investors.

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