Plight of China's gig workers poses policymaking dilemma

China's more precarious workers at on-demand platforms are still struggling with poor working conditions and lack of comprehensive labor protections.
China's more precarious workers at on-demand platforms are still struggling with poor working conditions and lack of comprehensive labor protections.PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING (CAIXIN GLOBAL) - A series of complaints over employee mistreatment has left China's once-coveted tech sector confronting a broad range of labour 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 announced on June 24 it is formally ending its weekend overtime policy known as "big/small weeks" that required staff to work on every other Sunday. Its rival, TikTok operator ByteDance, soon followed suit, lifting the longstanding policy in August.

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