China urges tech firms to protect gig worker rights

Regulators met with Chinese tech giants to discuss efforts to protect the basic rights of gig workers, following new government guidelines.
By: | September 14, 2021

Chinese regulators have called on a number of the country’s largest tech firms to “play a leading role” in caring for the gig workers and shouldering the social responsibilities for employing them, according to the South China Morning Post

The meeting included companies like Alibaba Group Holding, Meituan, Didi Chuxing and Tencent Holdings, and grouped the firms to discuss efforts to protect the basic rights of gig workers, following new government guidelines released in July. 

The guidelines were jointly issued by the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) and six other government agencies, and aim to protect the basic rights of gig workers, which include the provision of a basic income, work safety, and food safety. 

China has pressured internet platform operators to provide gig workers a fair share of the industry’s benefits. 

READ: China expects skills mismatch in future labour market

In recent years, labour issues on platforms like Meituan and Ele.me have come under scrutiny after a video of a Meituan employee working a 12-hour shift went viral on Chinese social media.  

Overall, the country is estimated to employ some 200 million jobs in the gig industry.