For the past few years, the food delivery battle in China has been represented by two colours: yellow for Meituan Dianping and blue for Alibaba-owned Ele.me. On any given day in Shanghai or Beijing, drivers from rival brands can be seen wearing uniforms consisting mostly of their respective employer’s colours while roaming the streets on scooters painted in the same hue. (Alibaba is the owner of the South China Morning Post .) Recently, though, a new image contest has emerged – and this time it’s focused on the head. Chinese social media users have been sharing photos of delivery drivers sporting eye-catching headgear. Workers from Meituan can be seen wearing a pair of kangaroo ears on their helmets, representing the leaping marsupial that is the company logo. Ele.me riders, meanwhile, have been spotted donning what’s known as a bamboo-copter: a toy propeller best known for its appearance in the classic Japanese anime series Doraemon. “Saw this on the road just now, pretty cute,” one Weibo user wrote alongside shots of a Meituan delivery driver. “Took this shot a few days ago hahaha,” another said of an Ele.me driver he photographed. “Cuteness overload.” Weibo posts with the hashtag “delivery men outfit battle” have been read more than 240 million times. A Meituan spokeswoman told the Post that the company introduced the attachable kangaroo ears in 2016. The accessories gained attention this month after the company started giving them out to more drivers as part of a marketing campaign. Ele.me rolled out a similar social media promotion back in late April. China’s food delivery platforms have grown popular by bringing cheap meals to users’ doors after just a few taps on a smartphone. They have become particularly popular with white-collar workers and university students in big cities. Meituan Dianping and Ele.me are the largest players, controlling around 90 per cent of the market, according to Daxue Consulting. But the coronavirus pandemic delt a significant blow to the industry. As offices and campuses closed during the height of China’s outbreak in February and March, the usual customers stayed home and stopped ordering cooked meals. Restaurants also stopped operating. Now with the public health crisis appearing mostly under control in China, delivery platforms are searching for new ways to recapture lost ground. Besides working on branding, companies are also extending the services they offer. Ele.me and Meituan Dianping have been experimenting with speed delivery of books and smartphones . To cater to older customers, many of whom have been using delivery apps for the first time, several platforms also started offering groceries and “semi-finished meals” – raw ingredients that are cut and seasoned for instant cooking.