China's real tech problem might not come from outside the country, but within it
Are workers are losing enthusiasm for long hours?
China has transformed a country of peasants into the world's largest middle class. But with the improvement in living standards, comes demands for a middle class lifestyle.
Quartz has a great article about Huawei. From the outside it appears as though the domestic audience is rallying around the company as it battles foreign competitors and governments. From the inside, however, the talk in China centers on working conditions.
The main story at home isn't CFO Meng Wanzhou's house arrest but the plight of worker Li Hongyuan who was denied his year-end bonus then detailed by Chinese authorities for 251 days before being release.
"We'll never become Meng Wanzhou, but we could become the next Li Hongyuan," read one comment . "We firmly support the Canadian authorities to extradite the 'princess' to the US," said another. Patriotism, a motivation often cited by Chinese consumers for buying Huawei phones, has not eased the online storm of criticism of the company. "I love China, but I don't love Huawei," wrote one social media user. Another said Huawei has been "presented as a chariot tied up with patriotism," but the company has betrayed "business norms and restraints."
Other protests include the 996 movement, which decries the 9 am to 9 pm schedule, 6 days a week at Chinese tech companies. No doubt it's tough to keep moral high with 72-hour work weeks.