- after years of breakneck growth at the likes of Alibaba and ByteDance, China is pulling ranks on its own Big Tech darlings
- Chinese tech giants exploited legal grey areas
- they maintained a work culture where white-collar employees stayed in the office until the early morning and worked over national holidays
- they designed algorithms that pressured delivery workers to drive dangerously and also fined them arbitrarily
One after another, tech giants like Ant, Meituan, and Didi have been targets of antitrust probes. This has intersected with a tightening of data protection regulation, which is seen as a national security issue, and a general drive to curb capitalist excess says an article on Wired.
Nurturing policy environment
China’s technology companies used to seem immune to regulation. Their CEOs were idolized. Almost every STEM student in China wanted to work in consumer tech, not hardware. The government favored these companies, which never would have gotten so big without it. They were allowed to grow in a nurturing policy environment with no competition from overseas tech giants.
Exploited legal grey areas
Like some of their counterparts elsewhere in the world, Chinese tech giants exploited legal grey areas. They maintained a work culture where white-collar employees stayed in the office until the early morning and worked over national holidays. They designed algorithms that pressured delivery workers to drive dangerously and also fined them arbitrarily.
No social security
They deliberately misclassified their workers, using intermediaries to hire them, to avoid legal responsibility for paying social security for drivers. Workers who attempted to fight legal cases found that they were in fact employed not by the platform, but by a company in a city they’d never worked in.
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