China’s National Business Daily reported that a study that the China Social Science Publishing House and the Inner Mongolia University issued on December 10 showed that it was quite common in 2017 for Chinese workers to work overtime (net working hours greater than 8 hours a day), with an overtime rate of 42.2 percent. Working overtime is particularly serious among low-income, low-education, and manufacturing workers. The overtime rate among manufacturing workers can be as high as 58.8 percent. The study was based on an analysis of the time utilization information from 12,471 households (30,591 household members) in 29 provinces in China, not including Xinjiang and Tibet.
According to the analysis of urban traffic data, Huawei topped Chinese companies with an average daily overtime of 3.96 hours per person.
Many Chinese are still working even though they are on vacation. The traveler bloggers website (www.mafengwo.cn) released The “Chinese White-collar Workers Travel Research Report 2017,” which showed that 88 percent of white-collar workers need to handle work even during travel. Ten percent of respondents said they would like to take a low-key vacation and never tell their colleagues. Forty-six percent of people would proceed cautiously, sharing the vacation information only with close colleagues.
Source: Central News Agency, December 11, 2018
The arrest of Huawei’s CFO Meng Wanzhou in Canada has triggered “anti-American” sentiment in mainland China. Some people have threatened to boycott U.S. goods. A number of companies are setting up a reward and punishment mechanism, requiring staff to support Huawei and taking disciplinary actions against those who purchase Apple products.
Menpad, a Shenzhen-based LCD display maker, confirmed to reporters that the company decided to support “compatriots” after the arrest of Huawei’s Meng. The management will give a 15 percent subsidy to employees who purchase Huawei phones and impose a 100 percent fine on those who purchase Apple phones.
In Shanghai, a chamber of commerce requires all members to boycott Apple. If a member purchases an Apple electronics product after the notice is issued, that person’s membership in the Chamber of Commerce will be cancelled. The Shaanxi’s Lian Development Group also issued a notice that requires all middle level management to use Huawei products and recommended its subsidiaries offer a subsidy of no less than 20 percent to employees who purchase Huawei mobile phones.
In addition to corporate actions, some netizens spontaneously wanted to “boycott U.S. goods.” On TikTok, a popular Chinese video sharing app, a film is being circulated showing that a man smashed his iPhone to express his anger. Another widespread video shows a man protesting in front of an Apple store, holding the banner “Apple get out of China; release Meng Wanzhou.”
Source: Radio Free Asia, December 10, 2018
Sputnik News, December 11, 2018
Jiemian News, the online news site under the Shanghai United Media Group, recently reported that German robotics giant Kuka AG officially announced the leave of its Global CEO, Till Reuter, who has served the company for the past decade. His original term had been extended to 2022. Sources explained that Reuter did not intend to leave the company. However, he had a major disagreement with the company Supervisory Board Chairman, Gu Yanmin, and decided to move on. Gu is the Deputy President of China’s Midea Group that acquired Kuka in 2016. The Midea Group currently holds 94.55 percent of Kuka. Kuka announced its major investment plan in China this past March. The plan will establish a new manufacturing base in Guangdong China to deliver an annual Chinese operation capacity to make 100,000 industrial robots by the year 2024. Kuka’s latest announcement indicated that there is no change in terms of intellectual property protection agreements it had with China.
Source: Jiemian News, November 27, 2018
Major Taiwanese newspaper China Times recently reported that, based on Vietnamese media reports, the primary Apple iPhone manufacturer Foxconn started a cooperative process with the City of Hanoi to establish its manufacturing operations in Vietnam. The move is reportedly in response to the on-going China-U.S. trade war. In fact, in October, the company’s subsidiary Foxconn Interconnect Technology had already completed a US$130 million acquisition of the Vietnamese company named New Wing Interconnect Technology, which is located in Bac Giang Province. Another possible reason for the Foxconn move could be the weakness of the new Apple iPhone sales trend, which has caused concern about reduced supply chain profits. Foxconn refused to validate this Vietnam move, citing its company policy of not commenting on matters directly related to its clients.
Source: China Times, December 4, 2018
Xinhua reported that, on December 5, at the 33rd Madrid International Dance Festival and upon the invitation of the Ministry of Culture of Madrid, the China Central Ballet performed “Red Detachment of Women.” A total of three more performances are planned, from the 5th to the 7th. This is the first time since its establishment that the China Central Ballet has performed in Spain.
According to Wikipedia, “Red Detachment of Women” is a Chinese ballet which premiered in 1964 and was made one of the Eight Model Operas which dominated the national stage during the Cultural Revolution. It depicts the liberation of a peasant girl from Hainan Island and her rise in the Chinese Communist Party.
Chinascope reported that, in February 2017, prior to the “Red Detachment of Women” performance at the Melbourne Arts Festival, the Australian Values Alliance called for a boycott of the ballet, saying that the ballet promoted hatred and violence using the form of ballet and that Western countries should be alert to China’s use of cultural exchanges to infiltrate Western society.
According to Voice of America, “Red Detachment of Women” was performed in Pyongyang in April 2018. Kim Jong-un and his wife attended the performance.
1. Xinhua, December 7, 2018
2. Chinascope, February 6, 2017
3. Voice of America, October 24, 2018
In 2018, China has continued to enhance its social credit score system. The authorities have released 32 Memorandums of Cooperation (MoCs) on disciplinary actions in fields that include social security, intellectual property, research, medical care, and marriage registrations.
Restrictions on plane and train travel appear in almost every MoC. For example, the Memorandum of Cooperation on Joint Disciplinary Actions against Seriously Untrustworthy Enterprises and Personnel in Social Security, jointly issued by 28 authorities, lists 32 types of penalties for nine cases of violations, including refusal to pay social security fees, failure to report social security income truthfully, and social security fraud. Among the disciplinary actions are restrictions on air travel, sleeping carriages with cushioned berths on trains, on second-class on ships, on all seats on the G-series multiple unit (MU) trains (high-speed rail), and on first-class seats on other MU’s.
Beginning in June 2018, on the first working day of each month, the “Credit China” website (http://www.creditchina.gov.cn/) will announce a list of people who are restricted from trains and planes. As more MoC’s have been issued, the number of people restricted from travel by air or by train has been increasing every month. As of September 2018, the cumulative occurrence of restrictions on air ticket purchases has been 14.78 million; on high-speed rail tickets it has been 5.24 million.
Another punishment for being “untrustworthy” is the denial of the qualification for working as a civil servant. In some recently issued joint MoC’s, some new disciplinary measures have begun to appear, such as not being able to buy a house and a restriction on tourist travels. People who owe taxes of more than 100,000 yuan (US$ 14,500) are also blacklisted and subject to restrictions such as no bring allowed to leave the country.
Source: China News Service, December 8, 2018