News of young employees dying from overwork at major Chinese tech companies are not unheard of. Last December, a 22-year-old female employee at e-commerce giant Pinduoduo died after working long hours past midnight. China's intense efforts at increasing national competences in new and advanced technologies have seen it moving up the value chain from a low-cost manufacturer to an innovator in science and technology. But is the “996 culture” of working from 9 am to 9 pm, six days a week, feasible and sustainable?
China’s willingness to consider joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) is perhaps an admission that emphasising free trade but ignoring fair trade is no longer sustainable. Even sacred cows such as its state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and insistence on the WTO platform for multilateral trade negotiations may be up for discussion. On a practical level, the CPTPP may just be the external push it needs to force its SOEs to reform.
There is a term that every young student in China knows well and probably dreads: the gaokao, or university entrance exam. The intense competition and pressure is enough to strain any person to breaking point, given the high stakes — real or perceived. Comic artist Bai Yi presents the all-too-familiar struggle to meet expectations.
Heroes in Harm's Way, a Chinese television series based on the Covid-19 pandemic, has drawn flak for inaccurate portrayals and gender discrimination. While the depiction of such a catastrophic event would have touched many a raw nerve in any case, the drama’s lack of finesse in telling China’s story has offended not only those outside China, but those within China as well, especially the young. Writ large, those running China’s inability to frame a credible narrative will only see them lose their cachet at home and abroad.
The China-US 5G race has led to the rapid growth of certain industries, in particular, e-sports and working on the go. Technology specialist Yin Ruizhi examines the possibilities of 5G technology.
Chen Kang attributes the blindspots in China’s handling of the Covid-19 outbreak to the tendency of officials to withhold information and put up appearances for their own interests. As such, decision-making could be impaired by the asymmetry of information and misaligned interests between superiors and subordinates, especially at the local level. Results then vary based on how well one navigates the minefields of groupthink, collusion and that seemingly innocuous aim of not rocking the boat. Using the prism of formalism, or what is prizing form over substance, Chen points out the weakness of a centralised system.
Chinese telecom giant Huawei is facing a tide of public anger from within China, following its handling of an incident involving a former employee who was wrongly jailed for 251 days. Lim Zhan Ting explores how Huawei landed itself in this position and what it can do to recover its image.
In September this year, the Hangzhou municipal government started sending government officers to be attached to some private companies, sparking discussion and speculation over the motive behind such a move. What are these private companies concerned about, and are these concerns valid?
Are you hungry enough to do what it takes to succeed? So Cheer shares his encounters in China, how his client rejected a dinner appointment for six times and how he wolfed down a plate of noodles that could be cooked using gutter oil. So, what does it take to succeed at the workplace in China?