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Sharing Economy

China's rush of aspiring gig drivers reflects weak labor market

Glut could touch off domino effect undermining economy

Cars for ride-hailing services are parked at a lot in Guangzhou. Many in China are looking to drive for different apps, partly due to a lack of other options. (Photo by Yusuke Hinata)

GUANGZHOU -- The surge of people scrambling to become gig drivers in China hides the soft underbelly of a weak labor market and the potential for excess competition with serious economic repercussions.

One man in Shenzhen wanted to become a driver for a ride-hailing app but was unable to secure a spot online to take a qualification test. Frustrated, he filed a complaint with the city in early March.

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