Foodpanda Faces Boycott After Calling Anti-Gov’t Protester ‘Terrorist’

Left: Dung Pan-in Saengsila / Facebook. Right, a man on a Foodpanda motorcycle captured in a video posted by @Tonpatiwat, whom Foodpanda called a “terrorist.” Photo: ​​Tonpatiwat / Twitter

BANGKOK — A major food delivery service is facing a boycott after it said on Twitter that an anti-government demonstrator dressed as a food delivery man was captured on video trying to set fire on a large image of the King as committing an act of “terrorism.”

 “We’re rushing to severely deal with him under company policy. He will be fired immediately. Please note that Foodpanda has a policy against violence and all types of terrorisms and will be happy to assist officers in prosecuting the offender,” FoodPanda tweeted from its account @foodpanda_th on Sunday.

This was soon followed by Thai Twitter hashtag #banfoodpanda (#แบนfoodpanda) which reached 1.25 million mentions by Monday noon despite the company’s apology which came hours later, on both Twitter and Facebook page.

 “We apologize for the previous message from our team which was posted. We’re still investigating the incident [Sunday] and seek pardon for the comment and for not thoroughly concluding about the previous incident,” Foodpanda wrote. 

Some restaurants have announced their withdrawal from business partnership with the app, including Mini Bear, Roastery at Home, Kinmon Salmon BKK and more.

Some Foodpanda delivery staff said that due to the administrator’s actions, they’re now left without work due to the boycott. 

“ I’m running out of cash to the point where I have hardly any left for apartment rent and food…. I don’t have anything left, the [boycott] trend is so strong. Only death can rescue me…  What the hell did you do [Food Panda] page administrator?” wrote Facebook user Field Ver on Facebook late Sunday night. 

The Facebook post was shared 16,000 times and attracted 40,000 Likes as of press time Monday afternoon. 

Another Foodpanda rider posted a photo of himself in a Foodpanda jacket and flashing three-finger salute, a symbol of Thai the anti-government reform movement.

 “I love this jacket. It enables me to earn a living. I love working as a rider under Foodpanda’s name. But I hate companies that see people as terrorists. If I end up losing my job because of the stupidity and selfishness of this lousy company, I will gladly embrace it,” wrote Facebook user Dung Pan-in Saengsila. 

Foodpanda Thailand apologized on Monday via Twitter. “Foodpanda assures freedom of speech and expression is not terrorism and the rider will not be dismissed due to this incident.”