The crowds might be back in China’s restaurants but they are not spending as much as they used to. The economy is not back on track, the labor market is bad and salaries are being cut. Business analyst Shaun Rein has sent his researchers out, and they did come back with bad news, he tells CNBC.
China’s zero-Covid-19 policies might be over since December, visas might be available and the new government tries to restore business confidence, but the number of expats in Shanghai is still dropping, according to the latest update by Bloomberg. While earlier estimates by chambers of commerce in big cities of 50% of the expats leaving are not confirmed and might have been too high, Shanghai still sees an ongoing exodus, while replacements for expat positions are not yet coming in.
Leading China economist Arthur Kroeber discusses the basis of the country’s economic growth and its relations with the US, at a panel of the Brown China Summit. Kroeber “explained that China’s alignment with Russia is an effort to erode the current U.S. global order in order to create more space for the two countries.”
Typically, China’s economy comes to a standstill during the annual Chinese New Year, but not in 2021, explains business analyst Shaun Rein to CNBCTV. GovermentalCovid-19 restrictions make it tough for migrant workers to return home, and double salaries at the factories might encourage them to continue working during the festival. Other industries like travel and leisure might suffer, though.
Overwork in China – called the 996 culture – is rampant, especially in the IT industry. The recent death of a Pinduoduo employee also shocked social commentator Zhang Lijia. For her, this cannot be solved by the industry or employees, but the government should step in, she writes in the South China Morning Post.
The shock was all around when a worker at China’s leading IT firm Pinduoduo recently collapsed and died under the pressure of overwork. But despite the fierce reactions, IT analyst Matthew Brennan, author of Attention Factory: The Story of Tiktok and China’s Bytedance, does not expect the culture of overwork in China’s IT firms will disappear, he tells Vice.
China veteran Mark Schaub discusses how China changed since it introduced the 1995 Employment Law and how it impacted the way foreign businesses could work. Before 1995 few people had a written labor contract, but since the introduction of the law much changed for workers and lawyers, he explains.
Former White House official Harry Broadman discusses the future of relations between China and its trade partners. He hopes and expects that after Joe Biden takes over from current US President Donald Trump collective action between trade partners will be higher on the agenda, he tells Bloomberg. With a strong focus on Canada.