Activists want Apple import ban over forced labor

Posted:
in General Discussion
The Campaign for Accountability has filed a formal complaint with US Customs and Border Protection over Apple's alleged use of forced labor in China.

A facility owned by Lens Technology, one of Apple's partners accused of using forced labor
A facility owned by Lens Technology, one of Apple's partners accused of using forced labor


The Campaign for Accountability (CfA) has previously accused Apple of "aggressive" lobbying, and monitored the company removing 94,000 games from the China App Store. Now it, with its parent company Tech Transparency Project (TTP) has formally submitted its research to the US Customs and Border Protection agency regarding forced labor.

"This research is based on hard evidence: Chinese-language media reports, government announcements, and even videos posted online," said the CfA in a statement. "Yet in the face of such detailed allegations raised by TTP and others, Apple has consistently refused to acknowledge the problem, repeatedly issuing the same blanket denial about its suppliers' use of minority Uyghur laborers."

The CfA wants a Withhold Release Order "that prevents the importation of Apple products linked to forced labor." It says Apple is in contravention of the Tariff Act of 1930, which prohibit importing merchandise made under these conditions.

The specific complaints include Apple's buying retail employee uniforms from a subsidiary of Esquel Group, which is facing sanctions over alleged human rights violations.

Similarly, the CfA claims it has documentary evidence from 2020 of forced labor being used by Apple supplier Lens Technology.

"[At the time] Apple said Lens Tech had received no Uyghur labor transfers from Xinjiang, despite video evidence unearthed by TTP of Uyghur Lens Tech workers," continues the statement. "Later, in July 2021, the Wall Street Journal reported that Lens Tech had phased out Uyghur laborers transferred from Xinjiang-- confirming that the company had engaged in the practice."

Many of the people said to be subject to forced labor are Uyghurs from the Xinjiang, allegedly used by the wind farm company Xinjiang Goldwind Science & Technology, which has previously partnered with Apple.

"Overall, Apple seems unable or unwilling to conduct basic due diligence research on its partners in China, or to acknowledge its repeated use of forced labor in China," says the CfA.

"By filing this complaint," it concludes, "Campaign for Accountability hopes that Customs and Border Protection will help spur the company to respect the rights of Uyghurs and take seriously its stated commitment to human rights and a safe, noncoercive workplace."

Apple has not responded to the complaint filing.

Read on AppleInsider
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 27
    What these people should do is go to China and protect. So they will have first hand experience of Chinese prison and labour camps. And report back to the West after few years. 

    Protest to Apple will not change china’s human rights a single bit. Also, pretty much any western company that do business in and with China need to deal with Chinese government,CCP. They are the overlord of human rights violation. Should we ban all companies do business with China too?
    jony0
  • Reply 2 of 27
    Looking briefly over The Campaign for Accountability’s web site it seems like they’re attempting good things, but in the first four pages of their news at least it looks like they’ve mainly targeted politicians and social media. Apple is the only retailer being called out for its manufacturing. Are they going after others, such as ones selling clothing and luxury goods, also made in sweatshops?
    williamlondonjony0
  • Reply 3 of 27
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,562member
    fred1 said:
    Looking briefly over The Campaign for Accountability’s web site it seems like they’re attempting good things, but in the first four pages of their news at least it looks like they’ve mainly targeted politicians and social media. Apple is the only retailer being called out for its manufacturing. Are they going after others, such as ones selling clothing and luxury goods, also made in sweatshops?
    Nope, only Apple because throwing shit at Apple gets clicks and eyes. Throwing the same shit at clothing manufacturers nets nothing. Every activist entity knows that.
    edited September 27 mike1williamlondonGG1viclauyycjony0
  • Reply 4 of 27
    All business’s that do business in China are doing business with a communist regime that cold care less for: The environment, child labor laws, labor laws (people working constantly and always), no breaks, will crush free speech.  So, yes, Apple definitely knows what’s going on in China to say that they don’t is an outright lie.
    beowulfschmidtwilliamlondon
  • Reply 5 of 27
    The same kind of allegations -- with the same kind of "proof" -- was levied and continues to be levied at the last U.S. election.

    Allegations have become the proof of ideologues, extremists, activists, haters and other terrorists and radicals.

    There is no reason to not believe Apple and other manufacturers who are actually there.
    lkruppMplsPjony0
  • Reply 6 of 27
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,562member
    Fred257 said:
    All business’s that do business in China are doing business with a communist regime that cold care less for: The environment, child labor laws, labor laws (people working constantly and always), no breaks, will crush free speech.  So, yes, Apple definitely knows what’s going on in China to say that they don’t is an outright lie.
    Bullshit. Unadulterated cow manure.
    Alex_Vwilliamlondonjony0
  • Reply 7 of 27
    The night market in Hami, Xinjiang is filled with customers on July 16, with a young Uygur girl in traditional costumes performing folk dances. Photo: ICThe night market in Hami Xinjiang is filled with customers on July 16 with a young Uygur girl in traditional costumes performing folk dances Photo IC


    These poor people are obviously horribly oppressed.
    Alex_VFileMakerFellerjony0
  • Reply 8 of 27
    tmaytmay Posts: 5,460member
    The night market in Hami, Xinjiang is filled with customers on July 16, with a young Uygur girl in traditional costumes performing folk dances. Photo: ICThe night market in Hami Xinjiang is filled with customers on July 16 with a young Uygur girl in traditional costumes performing folk dances Photo IC


    These poor people are obviously horribly oppressed.
    FFS George.

    Happily pushing the PRC's propaganda, again.
    williamlondonviclauyyc
  • Reply 9 of 27
    Chinese-language media reports, government announcements, and even videos posted online are not acceptable evidences. The report is not credible. There area loss opposite media reports, government announcements, and even videos posted online this group chose to ignore. It is sad total freedom allowed low IQ people to interfere with ordinary people's life by fooling ignorant people. 
    williamlondonGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 10 of 27
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,259member
    The night market in Hami, Xinjiang is filled with customers on July 16, with a young Uygur girl in traditional costumes performing folk dances. Photo: ICThe night market in Hami Xinjiang is filled with customers on July 16 with a young Uygur girl in traditional costumes performing folk dances Photo IC


    These poor people are obviously horribly oppressed.
    So are these
     Uighur Muslims Twitter
    China with Its Muslim Concentration Camps Says Breitbart 39Anti-Muslim39
    edited September 27 tmaymuthuk_vanalingamGG1viclauyycjony0
  • Reply 11 of 27
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 1,786member
    And yet the 13th amendment is OK. Double-standards of what?
  • Reply 12 of 27
    Prison camps and forced labor aren't the whole of it: why do you suppose it is you can get an organ transplant in two weeks in China?
    edited September 27 tmayGG1
  • Reply 13 of 27
    FAKE NEWS... Tim Cook would never let it happen and he's been over there numerous times just to make sure... no gay man (or woman) having been through what we go through in life would let it happen... NEVER! It's BS!
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 14 of 27
    DoomFreakDoomFreak Posts: 19unconfirmed, member
    The reason why products are cheaper in China are because of lack of labor laws.  So they use child labor, forced labor, slave labor, etc.  They also have few environmental protection laws.  This also makes it cheaper to produce products.  US products do have these restrictions, so it is more expensive to produce products in the United States.  Companies like Apple go to China for their products becauset is cheaper .. but then they should not pretend to be so environmentally conscious and they should not pretend to be so socially conscious.  By simply producing their products in China, they are not either.

    muthuk_vanalingamtmaywilliamlondon
  • Reply 15 of 27
    tmay said:
    The night market in Hami, Xinjiang is filled with customers on July 16, with a young Uygur girl in traditional costumes performing folk dances. Photo: ICThe night market in Hami Xinjiang is filled with customers on July 16 with a young Uygur girl in traditional costumes performing folk dances Photo IC


    These poor people are obviously horribly oppressed.
    FFS George.

    Happily pushing the PRC's propaganda, again.

    As you push yours....
  • Reply 16 of 27
    DoomFreak said:
    The reason why products are cheaper in China are because of lack of labor laws.  So they use child labor, forced labor, slave labor, etc.  They also have few environmental protection laws.  This also makes it cheaper to produce products.  US products do have these restrictions, so it is more expensive to produce products in the United States.  Companies like Apple go to China for their products becauset is cheaper .. but then they should not pretend to be so environmentally conscious and they should not pretend to be so socially conscious.  By simply producing their products in China, they are not either.

    China has moved its population from poverty to mostly middle class in a very short period of time.  They not only do not support the abuses you claim, they are eliminating them.  But, their people do have pride in their country and their work and the government eliminating the 996 standard was controversial.

    On the other hand, look at our own southern neighbors for real poverty, crime and corruption where their people have little hope of living a decent life -- or even our own country where the mother of a minority fears for her children's lives anytime they are outside of the house.

  • Reply 17 of 27
    tmaytmay Posts: 5,460member
    DoomFreak said:
    The reason why products are cheaper in China are because of lack of labor laws.  So they use child labor, forced labor, slave labor, etc.  They also have few environmental protection laws.  This also makes it cheaper to produce products.  US products do have these restrictions, so it is more expensive to produce products in the United States.  Companies like Apple go to China for their products becauset is cheaper .. but then they should not pretend to be so environmentally conscious and they should not pretend to be so socially conscious.  By simply producing their products in China, they are not either.

    China has moved its population from poverty to mostly middle class in a very short period of time.  They not only do not support the abuses you claim, they are eliminating them.  But, their people do have pride in their country and their work and the government eliminating the 996 standard was controversial.

    On the other hand, look at our own southern neighbors for real poverty, crime and corruption where their people have little hope of living a decent life -- or even our own country where the mother of a minority fears for her children's lives anytime they are outside of the house.

    Only just last month did the PRC's "Supreme People's Court" deem 996 illegal. How wonderful given the decades that 996 was the standard.

    https://www.reuters.com/world/china/chinese-authorities-say-overtime-996-policy-is-illegal-2021-08-27/

    But this link from June, better explains why China was engaged in 996;

    https://www.scmp.com/tech/tech-trends/article/3136510/what-996-gruelling-work-culture-polarising-chinas-silicon-valley

    The dark side of working for China’s booming technology industry often comes under the spotlight when a worker dies on the job, as was the case in January this year with the death of two employees at social commerce giant Pinduoduo.

    Pinduoduo is not the only Chinese tech firm accused of overworking employees. Short video platform Kuaishou asked all employees to work an extra day every two weeks ahead of its February 4 initial public offering (IPO) in Hong Kong.

    At TikTok operator ByteDance, employees have to work a six-day week every fortnight, while telecoms giant Huawei Technologies Co routinely asks staff for a six-day week every month in return for extra pay or compensation leave.

    “Winners take all, big fish eat small fish, fast fish eat slow fish … this type of fierce competition has caused countless workers to pay a huge physical and mental price,” said Yang Guoqing, a lecturer at the Centre of Modern Human Resources Assessment.

    The culture of 996, which refers to working 12 hours a day, six days a week, has become an unwritten standard for many of the country’s tech firms.

    ...

    How did tech leaders respond to the 996 backlash?

    As the debate intensified, Jack Ma emerged as one of 996’s staunchest supporters.

    The billionaire founder of Alibaba Group Holding, the parent company of the South China Morning Post, called the harsh schedule:

     “a huge blessing that many companies and employees don’t have the opportunity to have”, adding that it was the same work ethic that helped propel China’s tech giants to their size and status today".

    Ma also called on Alibaba employees to embrace 996. “If you join Alibaba, you should get ready to work 12 hours a day, otherwise why do you come to Alibaba? We don’t need those who comfortably work 8 hours,” he said.


    Essentially, the PRC want's to reign in business, partly due to inequality, but also do to fear of Chinese citizen backlash. In reality, this is Xi taking more control of corporations.

    Jack Ma disappeared from public sight after he gave a controversial speech on October 24, and criticised China’s “pawnshop financial regulators and state-owned banks.” He also called for a reform of China’s regulation system for stifling business innovation and likened global banking regulations to an 'old people's club'. Jack Ma’s company Ant Group was supposed to make what was supposed to be the world’s biggest IPO offering in Shanghai and Hong Kong. However, the regulators suspended the $37billion IPO two days before it was going to take place.

    It appears that China's rapid economic growth has hit its S curve. China looks even less likely to ever exceed the U.S. GDP, which was expected to happen by 2028, but is certainly delayed;

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-economy-likely-to-outgrow-chinas-due-to-contrast-in-pandemic-responses-11629036000

    China’s labor force—those ages 15 to 59—peaked in 2014, and has been shrinking since then, including a 0.5% decline in 2020, according to Capital Economics, which expects China’s GDP growth to slow to about 2% by 2030. That is roughly the same as the expected U.S. long-term growth rate.

    Chinese leader Xi Jinping “appears to be working to regain China’s place in history before demographic decline sets in,” said Arvind Subramanian, an economist at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

    The U.S. also has plenty of long-term challenges to growth, including a sharply divided political system, mounting bills for healthcare and slow productivity growth.

    But the GDP race provides just one way to view relative economic strength. Derek Scissors, an American Enterprise Institute economist, says that GDP, a gauge of national output, doesn’t accurately measure power. Wealth does. Aircraft carriers and overseas investments are paid out of a country’s wealth, not its GDP, he says.

    I'm guessing that 995 is still A-Okay.

    I'd also surmise that a 40 hour work wee seems to be a better balance.

    edited September 28
  • Reply 18 of 27
    tmay said:
    DoomFreak said:
    The reason why products are cheaper in China are because of lack of labor laws.  So they use child labor, forced labor, slave labor, etc.  They also have few environmental protection laws.  This also makes it cheaper to produce products.  US products do have these restrictions, so it is more expensive to produce products in the United States.  Companies like Apple go to China for their products becauset is cheaper .. but then they should not pretend to be so environmentally conscious and they should not pretend to be so socially conscious.  By simply producing their products in China, they are not either.

    China has moved its population from poverty to mostly middle class in a very short period of time.  They not only do not support the abuses you claim, they are eliminating them.  But, their people do have pride in their country and their work and the government eliminating the 996 standard was controversial.

    On the other hand, look at our own southern neighbors for real poverty, crime and corruption where their people have little hope of living a decent life -- or even our own country where the mother of a minority fears for her children's lives anytime they are outside of the house.

    Only just last month did the PRC's "Supreme People's Court" deem 996 illegal. How wonderful given the decades that 996 was the standard.

    https://www.reuters.com/world/china/chinese-authorities-say-overtime-996-policy-is-illegal-2021-08-27/

    But this link from June, better explains why China was engaged in 996;

    https://www.scmp.com/tech/tech-trends/article/3136510/what-996-gruelling-work-culture-polarising-chinas-silicon-valley

    The dark side of working for China’s booming technology industry often comes under the spotlight when a worker dies on the job, as was the case in January this year with the death of two employees at social commerce giant Pinduoduo.

    Pinduoduo is not the only Chinese tech firm accused of overworking employees. Short video platform Kuaishou asked all employees to work an extra day every two weeks ahead of its February 4 initial public offering (IPO) in Hong Kong.

    At TikTok operator ByteDance, employees have to work a six-day week every fortnight, while telecoms giant Huawei Technologies Co routinely asks staff for a six-day week every month in return for extra pay or compensation leave.

    “Winners take all, big fish eat small fish, fast fish eat slow fish … this type of fierce competition has caused countless workers to pay a huge physical and mental price,” said Yang Guoqing, a lecturer at the Centre of Modern Human Resources Assessment.

    The culture of 996, which refers to working 12 hours a day, six days a week, has become an unwritten standard for many of the country’s tech firms.

    ...

    How did tech leaders respond to the 996 backlash?

    As the debate intensified, Jack Ma emerged as one of 996’s staunchest supporters.

    The billionaire founder of Alibaba Group Holding, the parent company of the South China Morning Post, called the harsh schedule:

     “a huge blessing that many companies and employees don’t have the opportunity to have”, adding that it was the same work ethic that helped propel China’s tech giants to their size and status today".

    Ma also called on Alibaba employees to embrace 996. “If you join Alibaba, you should get ready to work 12 hours a day, otherwise why do you come to Alibaba? We don’t need those who comfortably work 8 hours,” he said.


    Essentially, the PRC want's to reign in business, partly due to inequality, but also do to fear of Chinese citizen backlash. In reality, this is Xi taking more control of corporations.

    Jack Ma disappeared from public sight after he gave a controversial speech on October 24, and criticised China’s “pawnshop financial regulators and state-owned banks.” He also called for a reform of China’s regulation system for stifling business innovation and likened global banking regulations to an 'old people's club'. Jack Ma’s company Ant Group was supposed to make what was supposed to be the world’s biggest IPO offering in Shanghai and Hong Kong. However, the regulators suspended the $37billion IPO two days before it was going to take place.

    It appears that China's rapid economic growth has hit its S curve. China looks even less likely to ever exceed the U.S. GDP, which was expected to happen by 2028, but is certainly delayed;

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-economy-likely-to-outgrow-chinas-due-to-contrast-in-pandemic-responses-11629036000

    China’s labor force—those ages 15 to 59—peaked in 2014, and has been shrinking since then, including a 0.5% decline in 2020, according to Capital Economics, which expects China’s GDP growth to slow to about 2% by 2030. That is roughly the same as the expected U.S. long-term growth rate.

    Chinese leader Xi Jinping “appears to be working to regain China’s place in history before demographic decline sets in,” said Arvind Subramanian, an economist at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

    The U.S. also has plenty of long-term challenges to growth, including a sharply divided political system, mounting bills for healthcare and slow productivity growth.

    But the GDP race provides just one way to view relative economic strength. Derek Scissors, an American Enterprise Institute economist, says that GDP, a gauge of national output, doesn’t accurately measure power. Wealth does. Aircraft carriers and overseas investments are paid out of a country’s wealth, not its GDP, he says.

    I'm guessing that 995 is still A-Okay.

    I'd also surmise that a 40 hour work wee seems to be a better balance.


    Nice spin!
  • Reply 19 of 27
    tmaytmay Posts: 5,460member
    tmay said:
    DoomFreak said:
    The reason why products are cheaper in China are because of lack of labor laws.  So they use child labor, forced labor, slave labor, etc.  They also have few environmental protection laws.  This also makes it cheaper to produce products.  US products do have these restrictions, so it is more expensive to produce products in the United States.  Companies like Apple go to China for their products becauset is cheaper .. but then they should not pretend to be so environmentally conscious and they should not pretend to be so socially conscious.  By simply producing their products in China, they are not either.

    China has moved its population from poverty to mostly middle class in a very short period of time.  They not only do not support the abuses you claim, they are eliminating them.  But, their people do have pride in their country and their work and the government eliminating the 996 standard was controversial.

    On the other hand, look at our own southern neighbors for real poverty, crime and corruption where their people have little hope of living a decent life -- or even our own country where the mother of a minority fears for her children's lives anytime they are outside of the house.

    Only just last month did the PRC's "Supreme People's Court" deem 996 illegal. How wonderful given the decades that 996 was the standard.

    https://www.reuters.com/world/china/chinese-authorities-say-overtime-996-policy-is-illegal-2021-08-27/

    But this link from June, better explains why China was engaged in 996;

    https://www.scmp.com/tech/tech-trends/article/3136510/what-996-gruelling-work-culture-polarising-chinas-silicon-valley

    The dark side of working for China’s booming technology industry often comes under the spotlight when a worker dies on the job, as was the case in January this year with the death of two employees at social commerce giant Pinduoduo.

    Pinduoduo is not the only Chinese tech firm accused of overworking employees. Short video platform Kuaishou asked all employees to work an extra day every two weeks ahead of its February 4 initial public offering (IPO) in Hong Kong.

    At TikTok operator ByteDance, employees have to work a six-day week every fortnight, while telecoms giant Huawei Technologies Co routinely asks staff for a six-day week every month in return for extra pay or compensation leave.

    “Winners take all, big fish eat small fish, fast fish eat slow fish … this type of fierce competition has caused countless workers to pay a huge physical and mental price,” said Yang Guoqing, a lecturer at the Centre of Modern Human Resources Assessment.

    The culture of 996, which refers to working 12 hours a day, six days a week, has become an unwritten standard for many of the country’s tech firms.

    ...

    How did tech leaders respond to the 996 backlash?

    As the debate intensified, Jack Ma emerged as one of 996’s staunchest supporters.

    The billionaire founder of Alibaba Group Holding, the parent company of the South China Morning Post, called the harsh schedule:

     “a huge blessing that many companies and employees don’t have the opportunity to have”, adding that it was the same work ethic that helped propel China’s tech giants to their size and status today".

    Ma also called on Alibaba employees to embrace 996. “If you join Alibaba, you should get ready to work 12 hours a day, otherwise why do you come to Alibaba? We don’t need those who comfortably work 8 hours,” he said.


    Essentially, the PRC want's to reign in business, partly due to inequality, but also do to fear of Chinese citizen backlash. In reality, this is Xi taking more control of corporations.

    Jack Ma disappeared from public sight after he gave a controversial speech on October 24, and criticised China’s “pawnshop financial regulators and state-owned banks.” He also called for a reform of China’s regulation system for stifling business innovation and likened global banking regulations to an 'old people's club'. Jack Ma’s company Ant Group was supposed to make what was supposed to be the world’s biggest IPO offering in Shanghai and Hong Kong. However, the regulators suspended the $37billion IPO two days before it was going to take place.

    It appears that China's rapid economic growth has hit its S curve. China looks even less likely to ever exceed the U.S. GDP, which was expected to happen by 2028, but is certainly delayed;

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-economy-likely-to-outgrow-chinas-due-to-contrast-in-pandemic-responses-11629036000

    China’s labor force—those ages 15 to 59—peaked in 2014, and has been shrinking since then, including a 0.5% decline in 2020, according to Capital Economics, which expects China’s GDP growth to slow to about 2% by 2030. That is roughly the same as the expected U.S. long-term growth rate.

    Chinese leader Xi Jinping “appears to be working to regain China’s place in history before demographic decline sets in,” said Arvind Subramanian, an economist at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

    The U.S. also has plenty of long-term challenges to growth, including a sharply divided political system, mounting bills for healthcare and slow productivity growth.

    But the GDP race provides just one way to view relative economic strength. Derek Scissors, an American Enterprise Institute economist, says that GDP, a gauge of national output, doesn’t accurately measure power. Wealth does. Aircraft carriers and overseas investments are paid out of a country’s wealth, not its GDP, he says.

    I'm guessing that 995 is still A-Okay.

    I'd also surmise that a 40 hour work wee seems to be a better balance.


    Nice spin!
    Thanks!

    But not spin; informed.

    It's so little effort, really, what with Google Search, or whatever your favorite search engine, and an open system of government, Democracy, that allows most of the world access to a wide range of information needed to make informed decisions, and frankly, to live better.

    You should try it.

    Just type in what you are looking for in the browser bar, unless of course, you happen to live in an authoritarian state.

    Then, it doesn't really work all that well.

    But you can ask Waveparticle about that; he'd know.
    edited September 28
  • Reply 20 of 27
    tmay said:
    DoomFreak said:
    The reason why products are cheaper in China are because of lack of labor laws.  So they use child labor, forced labor, slave labor, etc.  They also have few environmental protection laws.  This also makes it cheaper to produce products.  US products do have these restrictions, so it is more expensive to produce products in the United States.  Companies like Apple go to China for their products becauset is cheaper .. but then they should not pretend to be so environmentally conscious and they should not pretend to be so socially conscious.  By simply producing their products in China, they are not either.

    China has moved its population from poverty to mostly middle class in a very short period of time.  They not only do not support the abuses you claim, they are eliminating them.  But, their people do have pride in their country and their work and the government eliminating the 996 standard was controversial.

    On the other hand, look at our own southern neighbors for real poverty, crime and corruption where their people have little hope of living a decent life -- or even our own country where the mother of a minority fears for her children's lives anytime they are outside of the house.

    Only just last month did the PRC's "Supreme People's Court" deem 996 illegal. How wonderful given the decades that 996 was the standard.

    https://www.reuters.com/world/china/chinese-authorities-say-overtime-996-policy-is-illegal-2021-08-27/

    But this link from June, better explains why China was engaged in 996;

    https://www.scmp.com/tech/tech-trends/article/3136510/what-996-gruelling-work-culture-polarising-chinas-silicon-valley

    The dark side of working for China’s booming technology industry often comes under the spotlight when a worker dies on the job, as was the case in January this year with the death of two employees at social commerce giant Pinduoduo.

    Pinduoduo is not the only Chinese tech firm accused of overworking employees. Short video platform Kuaishou asked all employees to work an extra day every two weeks ahead of its February 4 initial public offering (IPO) in Hong Kong.

    At TikTok operator ByteDance, employees have to work a six-day week every fortnight, while telecoms giant Huawei Technologies Co routinely asks staff for a six-day week every month in return for extra pay or compensation leave.

    “Winners take all, big fish eat small fish, fast fish eat slow fish … this type of fierce competition has caused countless workers to pay a huge physical and mental price,” said Yang Guoqing, a lecturer at the Centre of Modern Human Resources Assessment.

    The culture of 996, which refers to working 12 hours a day, six days a week, has become an unwritten standard for many of the country’s tech firms.

    ...

    How did tech leaders respond to the 996 backlash?

    As the debate intensified, Jack Ma emerged as one of 996’s staunchest supporters.

    The billionaire founder of Alibaba Group Holding, the parent company of the South China Morning Post, called the harsh schedule:

     “a huge blessing that many companies and employees don’t have the opportunity to have”, adding that it was the same work ethic that helped propel China’s tech giants to their size and status today".

    Ma also called on Alibaba employees to embrace 996. “If you join Alibaba, you should get ready to work 12 hours a day, otherwise why do you come to Alibaba? We don’t need those who comfortably work 8 hours,” he said.


    Essentially, the PRC want's to reign in business, partly due to inequality, but also do to fear of Chinese citizen backlash. In reality, this is Xi taking more control of corporations.

    Jack Ma disappeared from public sight after he gave a controversial speech on October 24, and criticised China’s “pawnshop financial regulators and state-owned banks.” He also called for a reform of China’s regulation system for stifling business innovation and likened global banking regulations to an 'old people's club'. Jack Ma’s company Ant Group was supposed to make what was supposed to be the world’s biggest IPO offering in Shanghai and Hong Kong. However, the regulators suspended the $37billion IPO two days before it was going to take place.

    It appears that China's rapid economic growth has hit its S curve. China looks even less likely to ever exceed the U.S. GDP, which was expected to happen by 2028, but is certainly delayed;

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-economy-likely-to-outgrow-chinas-due-to-contrast-in-pandemic-responses-11629036000

    China’s labor force—those ages 15 to 59—peaked in 2014, and has been shrinking since then, including a 0.5% decline in 2020, according to Capital Economics, which expects China’s GDP growth to slow to about 2% by 2030. That is roughly the same as the expected U.S. long-term growth rate.

    Chinese leader Xi Jinping “appears to be working to regain China’s place in history before demographic decline sets in,” said Arvind Subramanian, an economist at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

    The U.S. also has plenty of long-term challenges to growth, including a sharply divided political system, mounting bills for healthcare and slow productivity growth.

    But the GDP race provides just one way to view relative economic strength. Derek Scissors, an American Enterprise Institute economist, says that GDP, a gauge of national output, doesn’t accurately measure power. Wealth does. Aircraft carriers and overseas investments are paid out of a country’s wealth, not its GDP, he says.

    I'm guessing that 995 is still A-Okay.

    I'd also surmise that a 40 hour work wee seems to be a better balance.


    Nice spin!
    You are right! He lied about 996 was standard for decades. Chinese workers have been working eight hours a day, five days a week for decades. Only in the last year or so Alibaba CEO began urging your people to work 996.
    On the other hand, here in silicon valley, high tech firms have people working for long hours. For example, Google has cafeteria that serves meals 24 hours a day for free. 
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