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In depth: China's gig workers give policymakers a dilemma

Beijing tries to protect easily replaced drivers without killing platforms' profits

While some employees at big tech companies rejoice now that they have full weekends, China's more precarious workers must deal with poor working conditions and a lack of comprehensive labor protections.   © Reuters

A series of complaints about employee mistreatment has left China's once-coveted tech sector confronting a broad range of labor issues amid a fierce nationwide debate and increased regulatory tightening, forcing some of the biggest players to adjust their workplace culture to attract and retain talent.

Short video company Kuaishou Technology announced on June 24 it is formally ending its weekend overtime policy known as "big/small weeks" that required staff to work every other Sunday. Its rival, TikTok operator ByteDance, soon followed suit, lifting the long-standing policy in August.

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