Translation: Detention of Takeout Driver Advocate Highlights Digital-era Labor Abuses

Amid the ongoing pandemic, the services provided by food delivery platforms have become a lifeline for many shut-in or socially distanced consumers, in China and elsewhere. Despite the newfound essentiality of delivery drivers and the relative viral risk they now assume globally, an increasing number of them are struggling to make ends meet as overworked freelancers in the gig economy. In China, the revelation of recent labor abuses by deliver app companies and the detention of an anonymous online labor advocate has served to highlight the plight facing these workers. Citing two March 1...

Today, to be guilty of our common ideals, I am deeply honoured.

- former Hong Kong LegCo member Eddie Chu Hoi-dick, before his bail hearing

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Translation: Detention of Takeout Driver Advocate Highlights Digital-era Labor Abuses

Amid the ongoing pandemic, the services provided by food delivery platforms have become a lifeline for many shut-in or socially distanced consumers, in China and elsewhere. Despite the newfound essentiality of delivery drivers and the relative viral risk they now assume globally, an increasing number of them are struggling to make ends meet as overworked freelancers in the gig economy. In China, the revelation of recent labor abuses by deliver app companies and the detention of an anonymous online labor advocate has served to highlight the plight facing these workers. Citing two March 1...

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Hong Kong Prosecutors Charge 47 With Subversion, Supporters Rally Outside Bail Hearing

In an orchestrated spectacle seemingly timed to coordinate with leaders in Beijing, 47 prominent pro-democracy supporters—including very nearly every member of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy camp—were crammed into a West Kowloon courtroom on Monday, March 1 for a bail hearing. They were charged the day prior with subversion under the Hong Kong National Security Law (NSL) for running in an informal primary election in July 2020, in which more than 600,000 Hong Kong people voted. If ultimately convicted, they face up to life in prison. After adjourning for several hours when it emerged that...

Translation: Detention of Takeout Driver Advocate Highlights Digital-era Labor Abuses

Amid the ongoing pandemic, the services provided by food delivery platforms have become a lifeline for many shut-in or socially distanced consumers, in China and elsewhere. Despite the newfound essentiality of delivery drivers and the relative viral risk they now assume globally, an increasing number of them are struggling to make ends meet as overworked freelancers in the gig economy. In China, the revelation of recent labor abuses by deliver app companies and the detention of an anonymous online labor advocate has served to highlight the plight facing these workers. Citing two March 1...

Translation: Detention of Takeout Driver Advocate Highlights Digital-era Labor Abuses

Amid the ongoing pandemic, the services provided by food delivery platforms have become a lifeline for many shut-in or socially distanced consumers, in China and elsewhere. Despite the newfound essentiality of delivery drivers and the relative viral risk they now assume globally, an increasing number of them are struggling to make ends meet as overworked freelancers in the gig economy. In China, the revelation of recent labor abuses by deliver app companies and the detention of an anonymous online labor advocate has served to highlight the plight facing these workers. Citing two March 1...

Translation: Detention of Takeout Driver Advocate Highlights Digital-era Labor Abuses

Amid the ongoing pandemic, the services provided by food delivery platforms have become a lifeline for many shut-in or socially distanced consumers, in China and elsewhere. Despite the newfound essentiality of delivery drivers and the relative viral risk they now assume globally, an increasing number of them are struggling to make ends meet as overworked freelancers in the gig economy. In China, the revelation of recent labor abuses by deliver app companies and the detention of an anonymous online labor advocate has served to highlight the plight facing these workers. Citing two March 1...

How the HK47 Prepared for Charges Under the National Security Law, and International Reactions

On Sunday, February 28, 47 prominent Hong Kong pro-democracy activists were charged with subversion under the Hong Kong National Security Law. The charges were widely expected after the activists were first arrested in a massive sweep in January 2021. After initially being released on bail after their arrests, they were notified on Friday, February 26th to report to police stations across the city at 2pm on Sunday, giving them just days to prepare. On social media and with local media outlets, the 47 documented their last days of freedom and their final messages to the public. On Sunday,...

Another Brick In the Wall: Music Site’s Blocking Further Closes Off Chinese Internet

Nobody was surprised when Clubhouse, the viral app on which Chinese users shared their unfiltered views with global audiences, was blocked in China. Users had widely anticipated that Clubhouse would have to die. But the sudden blocking of Bandcamp, an international independent music platform, shocked Chinese and international observers. Together with the recent raid on Renren Yingshi, the subtitling group that provided uncensored international film and television translations to the Chinese public, the block illustrates the significant ongoing constriction of space for unregulated cultural...

Q&A: Leta Hong Fincher on China’s Resilient Feminists

A former journalist, Leta Hong Fincher was the first American to receive a PhD in Sociology from Tsinghua University in Beijing. Her research there led to her first book, “Leftover Women: The Resurgence of Gender Inequality in China,” which examined rising gender inequalities in China today through the lens of economics, marriage, and the real estate market. Her widely acclaimed second book, “Betraying Big Brother: The Feminist Awakening in China,” examines the rise of a new feminist movement in China and profiles several of the key participants, including the...

Divorce Restrictions Endanger Women as Leaders Focus on Demographic Crisis

China has implemented a mandatory “cooling-off” period for divorces, mandating that spouses observe a 30-day waiting period to deter impulsive divorces. But the new requirement, which went into effect on January 1st of this year, has created a variety of side effects, from a surge of divorces in the final days of 2020 to appointment “scalping” under the new system. The controversy about the waiting period and how to manage China’s growing divorce rate comes as Chinese lawmakers wrestle with a long foretold demographic crisis of an aging population and falling...

Translation: Detention of Takeout Driver Advocate Highlights Digital-era Labor Abuses

Amid the ongoing pandemic, the services provided by food delivery platforms have become a lifeline for many shut-in or socially distanced consumers, in China and elsewhere. Despite the newfound essentiality of delivery drivers and the relative viral risk they now assume globally, an increasing number of them are struggling to make ends meet as overworked freelancers in the gig economy. In China, the revelation of recent labor abuses by deliver app companies and the detention of an anonymous online labor advocate has served to highlight the plight facing these workers. Citing two March 1...

Translation: Detention of Takeout Driver Advocate Highlights Digital-era Labor Abuses

Amid the ongoing pandemic, the services provided by food delivery platforms have become a lifeline for many shut-in or socially distanced consumers, in China and elsewhere. Despite the newfound essentiality of delivery drivers and the relative viral risk they now assume globally, an increasing number of them are struggling to make ends meet as overworked freelancers in the gig economy. In China, the revelation of recent labor abuses by deliver app companies and the detention of an anonymous online labor advocate has served to highlight the plight facing these workers. Citing two March 1...

On Clubhouse, Youth Share The Truth About Xinjiang

After Chinese users flocked to Clubhouse to engage in uncensored and freewheeling conversation on topics both serious and silly, authorities blocked the app. One room, “Is there a concentration camp in Xinjiang?,” was particularly notable for its topic matter, size, and uniquely empathetic discourse. The room was widely covered by international media and sparked renewed interest in a 2009 essay written by Huang Zhangjin after the 2009 Urumqi riots titled “Goodbye, Ilham” that detailed his friendship with the famed Uyghur intellectual as well as the racial politics of Xinjiang. For SupChina,...

Chinese Countryside Better Off Than Ever Before, While Some Reforms Stagnate

In early December, President Xi Jinping declared that China had eliminated absolute poverty. His announcement was the culmination of a years-long campaign that sought to raise the annual income of every person in China’s countryside above 4,000 yuan. The Economist reviewed the campaign and found it largely effective in eliminating the destitution previously endemic to China’s countryside: Sceptics understandably ask whether China fiddled its numbers in order to win what it calls the “battle against poverty”. There are of course still isolated cases of abject deprivation. China, however, set...

Politics

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Translation: Detention of Takeout Driver Advocate Highlights Digital-era Labor Abuses

Amid the ongoing pandemic, the services provided by food delivery platforms have become a lifeline for many shut-in or socially distanced consumers, in China and elsewhere. Despite the newfound essentiality of delivery drivers and the relative viral risk they now assume globally, an increasing number of them are struggling to make ends meet as overworked freelancers in the gig economy. In China, the revelation of recent labor abuses by deliver app companies and the detention of an anonymous online labor advocate has served to highlight the plight facing these workers. Citing two March 1...

Human Rights

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In First Phone Call, Biden and Xi Hash Out Differences, Set Stage for “Extreme Competition”

On February 10, newly elected President Joe Biden spoke with Chinese leader Xi Jinping for the first time in office. The Biden White House and China’s Xinhua News both provided readouts of the call. Human rights appeared to be a central issue in their conversation as Biden expressed “fundamental concerns” about the “crackdown in Hong Kong, human rights abuses in Xinjiang, and increasingly assertive actions in the region, including toward Taiwan.” Xinhua’s readout curtly claimed those issues to be China’s internal affairs. The two leaders also spoke about climate change, security policy, and...

Society

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Critics Facing Uphill Battle in Efforts to Organize Olympics Boycott

A growing number of voices are calling for a boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. While discussion among Western countries about a boycott has circulated for months, voices in favor of a boycott have grown stronger in light of growing evidence of gross human rights violations in China, including the recent U.S. designation of ongoing atrocities in Xinjiang as genocide. The Washington Post’s Ellen Nakashima, Rick Maese, and John Hudson reported on the ongoing U.S. debate about an Olympics boycott: Two weeks into its term, the Biden administration is far from settling on a course...

China & the World

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WHO Investigators Detail Political Environment During China Field Research

Peter Ben Embarek, the leader of the World Health Organization’s investigation into the origin of COVID-19, has walked back comments he made in Wuhan that seemed to endorse controversial Chinese government narratives. During a February 9 press conference that marked the end of the WHO’s China field research, Ben Embarek suggested that the virus might have been imported into China through frozen food, while seemingly ruling out the possibility that it escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology after a lab accident. Yet in an interview with Science Magazine’s Kai Kupferschmidt, given after...

Law

Latest

On Clubhouse, Youth Share The Truth About Xinjiang

After Chinese users flocked to Clubhouse to engage in uncensored and freewheeling conversation on topics both serious and silly, authorities blocked the app. One room, “Is there a concentration camp in Xinjiang?,” was particularly notable for its topic matter, size, and uniquely empathetic discourse. The room was widely covered by international media and sparked renewed interest in a 2009 essay written by Huang Zhangjin after the 2009 Urumqi riots titled “Goodbye, Ilham” that detailed his friendship with the famed Uyghur intellectual as well as the racial politics of Xinjiang. For SupChina,...

Information Revolution

Latest

Government Partners With Private Corporations To Monitor China’s Internet

New investigations by ChinaFile and The New York Times reveal the complexities of the vast and diffuse organs tasked by the Chinese state with understanding (and manipulating) online public opinion. The Great Firewall, the “Fifty Cent Party,” and CDT’s “Directives From the Ministry of Truth” are well known examples of the Chinese government’s efforts to control the internet. The investigations by ChinaFile and The Times show that public-private partnerships built on sophisticated software programs are the new frontier of internet control in China. Jessica Batke and Mareike Ohlberg’s...

Culture & the Arts

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Translation: Weibo User Sentenced to Six Months Over Wuhan Poem

Last April, Weibo user “Marilyn Monroe” (@玛丽莲梦六) wrote a widely-shared post of vignettes from the Wuhan lockdown. The user reported that they were “asked to tea” soon after the post went viral, and later disappeared. Now they have been convicted of “picking quarrels and provoking troubles” and sentenced to six months in prison: Zhang Wenfang, a Hebei based Weibo user, sentenced to 6 months in prison for a piece of content she posted on Weibo, which mentioned dozens of untold sad stories during the Covid lockdown in Wuhan City, and which authority claimed contained rumors....

The Great Divide

Latest

Chinese Countryside Better Off Than Ever Before, While Some Reforms Stagnate

In early December, President Xi Jinping declared that China had eliminated absolute poverty. His announcement was the culmination of a years-long campaign that sought to raise the annual income of every person in China’s countryside above 4,000 yuan. The Economist reviewed the campaign and found it largely effective in eliminating the destitution previously endemic to China’s countryside: Sceptics understandably ask whether China fiddled its numbers in order to win what it calls the “battle against poverty”. There are of course still isolated cases of abject deprivation. China, however, set...

Sci-Tech

Latest

Translation: Detention of Takeout Driver Advocate Highlights Digital-era Labor Abuses

Amid the ongoing pandemic, the services provided by food delivery platforms have become a lifeline for many shut-in or socially distanced consumers, in China and elsewhere. Despite the newfound essentiality of delivery drivers and the relative viral risk they now assume globally, an increasing number of them are struggling to make ends meet as overworked freelancers in the gig economy. In China, the revelation of recent labor abuses by deliver app companies and the detention of an anonymous online labor advocate has served to highlight the plight facing these workers. Citing two March 1...

Environment

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Xi’s Climate Pledge Stuns World But Barriers Remain

Chinese leader Xi Jinping unexpectedly announced sweeping and potentially transformative, albeit vague, commitments to cut China’s carbon footprint last week. In an address before the United Nation’s General Assembly, Xi said, “We aim to have CO2 emissions peak before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060.“ Xi’s pledge both reaffirmed goals set by the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, and unilaterally set a new benchmark for emissions control. Since Trump’s ascension to the American presidency, China has angled to assume a global leadership position on climate change. Xi’s speech comes...

Hong Kong

Latest

How the HK47 Prepared for Charges Under the National Security Law, and International Reactions

On Sunday, February 28, 47 prominent Hong Kong pro-democracy activists were charged with subversion under the Hong Kong National Security Law. The charges were widely expected after the activists were first arrested in a massive sweep in January 2021. After initially being released on bail after their arrests, they were notified on Friday, February 26th to report to police stations across the city at 2pm on Sunday, giving them just days to prepare. On social media and with local media outlets, the 47 documented their last days of freedom and their final messages to the public. On Sunday,...

Taiwan

Latest

In First Phone Call, Biden and Xi Hash Out Differences, Set Stage for “Extreme Competition”

On February 10, newly elected President Joe Biden spoke with Chinese leader Xi Jinping for the first time in office. The Biden White House and China’s Xinhua News both provided readouts of the call. Human rights appeared to be a central issue in their conversation as Biden expressed “fundamental concerns” about the “crackdown in Hong Kong, human rights abuses in Xinjiang, and increasingly assertive actions in the region, including toward Taiwan.” Xinhua’s readout curtly claimed those issues to be China’s internal affairs. The two leaders also spoke about climate change, security policy, and...

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