back to article China signals dissatisfaction with gig economy impact on ride-share drivers

China has signaled that ride-sharing companies can expect the same scrutiny as its web giants, and laid out regulations that will stop cars from collecting unnecessary data. State-controlled media report that authorities hauled in ten major ride-sharing outfits last week, among them DiDi and Meituan, and gave them a stern …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I wonder if...

    China has recently seen Facebook give Oz a bitch-slapping (which China sees as their job). Is all of this recent 'calling in' of large tech firms merely to make sure they don't get big enough to threaten Xi. Er the CCP. Er, the good of the Chinese people?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I wonder if...

      Yes.

      But it's not "recent", it's only that we have short-term memory.

      For example, more than ten years ago, when QQ coin became very popular, the Chinese government intervened to ensure it would not threaten the renminbi. Anything that they think could disturb social stability is throttled.

      https://web.archive.org/web/20111220173539/http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2007-02/12/content_5730970.htm

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I wonder if...

        "Anyone that they think could disturb social stability is throttled."

        FTFY.

      2. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

        Re: I wonder if...

        "Anything that they think could disturb social stability is throttled."

        Whereas our politicians will actively ferment social instability if it will get them (re-)elected (or if it might overturn an election they've lost).

        (None of which is to condone China's totalitarian and genocidal tendencies.)

  2. Richard Tobin

    "Ride sharing"

    It's time the term "ride sharing" was abandoned. There's no sharing involved, it's just a commercial transaction.

    1. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: "Ride sharing"

      Ride Sharecropping.*

      FIFY

      *With apologies to real sharecropping which isn't as abusive since in real sharecropping the landlord at least as some skin in the game in the form of substantial capital assets. By contrast, in the modern Sharecropper Economy the sharecropper has all of the capitalization risk and the companies just skim the cashflow with the bare minimum capital investment needed to do the skimming.

      1. ecofeco Silver badge

        Re: "Ride sharing"

        Ride Sharecropping.

        I am stealing the hell out of that.

    2. vtcodger Silver badge

      Re: "Ride sharing"

      Upvoted because I mostly agree. It'd seem like there's a place in the world for businesses that link up folks headed for the same place at the same time and thereby use only one vehicle and share the costs. But that's really not what Uber et. al. do.

      What I find astonishing is that Uber -- despite all it's business advantages over traditional taxi services that are forced by circumstances into costly practices like owning/maintaining/properly insuring vehicles and paying their employees -- somehow manages to lose staggering sums of money every quarter.

  3. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge
    Coat

    laid out regulations that will stop cars from collecting unnecessary data

    Because cars are meant to collect passengers.

  4. ThatOne Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Gesture politics or not...

    > requires automakers [...] to collect data only after securing permission, and even then to only collect information that serves the interests of drivers and passengers

    I sure hope our waste of space of politicians will eventually get inspired by this too, and not limit themselves to the surveillance and liberty-limiting aspects of China - which clearly are a smash hit among governments all around the world, giving us long-desired gems like backdoors and political internet filters.

    Imagine a world where we would copy the good aspects of China, while avoiding the bad ones! (Actually the exact opposite of what's currently happening...)

    1. martinusher Silver badge

      Re: Gesture politics or not...

      I think we desperately need to emphasize the negative because the positive terrifies our leadership. Looking behind the propaganda barrage what we see is a rapidly developing society that's trying to provide for all its citizens, a society that requires its corporations to pay more than lip service to the notion of social responsibility. This combination of national success with social development is very powerful, its the sort of message that may not resonate with us but certainly sounds good to innumerable people condemned to live with grinding poverty and chronic instability -- the implied message is "If we can do it then you can", something that's really dangerous to our interests.

      We have tried to make China in our image several times, first as imperialists, then as global capitalists. The Chinese have played along when it suits them but they have their own culture, ambitions and goals so it was inevitable that our interests should diverge. We're now trying to manage them by putting them down, by a Cold War level of propaganda and encirclement threats. This message sells well to our people -- everyone now knows China as 'autocratic", for example -- but its ultimately doomed to fail. As we will do unless we grow up and learn to compete properly.

      1. ThatOne Silver badge

        Re: Gesture politics or not...

        With the demise of the Soviet regime, China had to be shoehorned into the now vacant position of America's "traditional enemy". (Terrorism had to fill in for a while, but it clearly didn't live up to the task.)

        In politics it's very important to have a traditional enemy one can accuse of anything and everything, and scare people with: It keeps the masses focused, and allows irrefutable and final arguments like "if you don't like it here, why don't you go live in [traditional enemy]?".

        All weak/authoritarian regimes have a clearly defined enemy (Soviets for the USA, the USA for the Soviets, Jews for Nazis, not to mention the neighbors for a huge lot of countries all over the world).

  5. ecofeco Silver badge

    I never saw THAT plot twist coming!

    China is more concerned about companies data collection and wages than freedom loving America?

    Is this bizarro world?

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