Aug 27, 2021 10:01 AM

CX Daily: Plight Of China’s Gig Workers Poses Policymaking Dilemma

A Meituan takeout worker rides in the heavy rain in Haikou, South China’s Hainan province, in October 2020. Photo: VCG
A Meituan takeout worker rides in the heavy rain in Haikou, South China’s Hainan province, in October 2020. Photo: VCG

Labor /

In Depth: Plight of China’s gig workers poses policymaking dilemma

A series of complaints over employee mistreatment left China’s once coveted tech sector confronting a broad range of labor issues amid a fierce nationwide debate and increased regulatory tightening, forcing some of the biggest players in the sector to adjust their workplace culture to attract and retain talent.

Short video company Kuaishou Technology said June 24 it was formally ending its weekend overtime policy known as “big/small weeks” that required staff to work every other Sunday. Its rival, TikTok operator ByteDance Inc., soon followed suit, lifting the long-standing policy in August.

While some employees at these big tech companies are rejoicing over getting their full weekends back, the country's more precarious workers at on-demand platforms — who are often low-skilled, highly replaceable and thus have less bargaining power — are still struggling with poor working conditions and lack of comprehensive labor protections.



Han Wenxiu. Photo: VCG

Common prosperity /

‘Robbing the rich’ is not part of China’s plan for ‘common prosperity,’ official says

China’s efforts to build a society of “common prosperity” are not about achieving egalitarianism and do not mean “robbing the rich to give to the poor,” a senior government official told a press conference Thursday in Beijing.

Han Wenxiu, deputy director of the Office of the Central Financial and Economic Affairs Commission, said the country’s push for common prosperity allows for “the existence of a certain gap” (link in Chinese), and the country encourages people to work hard and bring innovation.

It also allows some to “get rich first” and then guide and help others to become rich, he said.

Hong Hao: What foreign investors don’t get about China’s ‘common prosperity’ goal

Afghanistan /

Beijing to work with Moscow to prevent Afghanistan security threats from spilling over

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed the Afghan issue in a phone conversation Wednesday, noting that the two countries can work together to “prevent the spillover of security risks from Afghanistan,” according to the state-run Xinhua News Agency.

Xi said China is willing to strengthen communication and coordination with the international community including Russia to encourage all parties in Afghanistan to build an open and inclusive political structure, implement moderate and stable domestic and foreign policies and completely cut ties with all terrorist groups, according to Xinhua.

Stocks /

Out-of-favor China stocks bounce back as investors go bargain hunting

Chinese internet and technology stocks rallied in Hong Kong and the U.S. after plunging last week over concerns that tough regulations will hurt profits, although investors and analysts remain cautious about the medium-term investment outlook.

The Hang Seng TECH Index, which tracks the 30 largest tech companies listed in Hong Kong, rose 9.6% over the three days through Wednesday, recovering from an 11% slide last week in which the gauge dropped Friday to the lowest in more than a year. The Nasdaq Golden Dragon China Index, which tracks 98 Chinese companies listed on the U.S. exchange, jumped 13.6% since slumping to the lowest in more than a year Aug. 19.

WMPs /

China orders banks to speed up ditching nonstandard wealth management assets

With four months left in the transition to sweeping new rules covering China’s $13 trillion asset management industry, regulators made clear what not to do after the year-end deadline.

Authorities recently summoned banks and outlined more specific requirement on methods for valuing banks’ wealth management products (WMPs). They also set earlier deadlines for disposing of certain nonstandard credit and equity assets, Caixin learned from industry participants.

Quick hits /

Ant Group’s mutual fund platform reports sixfold jump in profit

China’s U.N. envoy asks WHO to investigate U.S. labs on Covid origin-tracing

Private equity giant Hillhouse launches new fund business to invest in stock market



A Huawei and Sokon Seres SF5 on display in Beijing on June 6. Photo: VCG

Huawei /

Huawei’s auto drive could sputter amid concerns over smart car tie-ups

As Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. gathers pace on its push into smart cars, industry insiders closely following the Chinese telecom giant’s shift away from consumer electronics and into the competitive auto space have raised concerns over the company’s partnership models with domestic carmakers.

During its pivot into China’s automotive industry following a series of Trump-era sanctions on the sale of chips and other technologies to the company, Huawei announced smart EV tie-ups with Chongqing Sokon Industry Group Co. Ltd., BAIC BluePark New Energy Technology Co. Ltd., GAC Group Ltd. and Chongqing Changan Automobile Co. Ltd., stressing its role as a supplier of either intelligent driving solutions or hardware and software components.

Alibaba /

Alibaba replaces executive who botched sexual assault scandal amid broader reshuffle

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. appointed a new head of its local services unit after the executive at the helm resigned following just a month in the job in the wake of a sexual assault scandal.

Li Yonghe left his job as the CEO of Alibaba Local Services Co., which is part of the new lifestyle services division formed in July, according to an Aug. 9 note from Alibaba.

According to an internal memo, Li will be replaced as CEO by Yu Yongfu — perhaps best known as the former CEO of browser-maker UCWeb Inc. — who is also the president of the lifestyle business division and reports directly to Alibaba Group CEO Daniel Zhang. Alibaba acquired UCWeb in 2014.

Self-flying /

Self-flying vehicle specialist EHang hits earnings turbulence

EHang Holdings Ltd., a Chinese startup hoping to revolutionize aerial transportation with its self-flying vehicles, reported widening losses and plummeting revenues in the second quarter amid sluggish demand for its products as it aims to become a service platform operator rather just a seller.

In the three months through June, the New York-listed company’s net loss swelled to 74.6 million yuan ($11.6 million) from 19.7 million yuan a year ago, according to unaudited earnings report published Wednesday.

Logistics /

Departed Sinotrans chairman to take job at another subsidiary of China Merchants Group, source say

The recently resigned chairman of one of the world’s largest logistics firms, Sinotrans Ltd., will take a position at another company owned by its parent China Merchants Group Ltd., possibly China Merchants Hoi Tung Trading Co. Ltd., sources close to the matter told Caixin.

Li Guanpeng gave up all his positions at Sinotrans, including his seat on the board and the chairmanship of its strategy committee, when his resignation took effect Wednesday, according to a company announcement (in Chinese). Sinotrans is currently seeking a replacement.

Quick hits /

China will base new shipbuilding giant in Shanghai

Kuaishou stock slumps as spending spree drives losses

Xiaomi buys self-driving tech startup to propel EV ambitions

Energy Insider /

China completes first underground hydrogen storage well



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