China’s regulators ramp up pressure on Alibaba, Tencent, other major internet firms to protect gig workers’ basic rights
- Regulators called on 10 of the country’s biggest internet platform operators to shoulder the social responsibilities for employing gig workers
- These companies must each draw up their timetable and road map to comply with the government’s latest guidelines on gig workers’ basic rights
The new guidelines, which were jointly issued by the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) and six other government agencies, are meant to protect the basic rights of gig workers such as delivery and ride-hailing drivers. Their rights include being provided a basic income, work safety, food safety, a decent working environment and access to insurance coverage.
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The SAMR-led guidelines announced in late July came days after the MOHRSS, along with seven other government agencies, published a separate guideline on guaranteeing the basic rights of workers in “new employment forms”.
Still, China has kept a wary eye on any spontaneous strike or organised campaign by gig economy workers. A delivery man called Chen Guojiang, also known as Mengzhu, was arrested in March on charges of “provoking trouble” after he tried to mobilise strikes among fellow delivery men in Beijing.