back to article China's Yangtze Memory reportedly lays off staff, evicts them from company housing

Adding insult to injury, staff laid off by Chinese memory-maker Yangtze Memory Technologies Corp (YTMC) not only lost their jobs, but were evicted from their company-subsidized apartments in Wuhan, according to Chinese media outlet Caixin. The Chinese state-owned memory-maker let go of between five and ten percent of staff in …

  1. Potemkine! Silver badge

    Evicting staff is in marked contrast to US tech employers, typically pay laid-off staff several months severance and offer outplacement services to find them new gigs. Where's the workers' paradise now?

    Is it a standard behaviour for US companies to offer flats to employees after 5 years of work?

    According to 'Asia Times', YTMC being blacklisted by the US is less a question of security than a way to slash competition

    1. Rattus

      " in marked contrast to US tech employers"

      I fail to see how this is a marked contrast to US tech employers.

      The job had a perk, much like a car in the us, and if you get fired then they offer you a settlement sum to keep the car, or you hand it back. Exactly the same here, only the consequences are Much Much greater.

      That said evictions from a flat because you are unwilling (or more likely unable) to buy out the remaining balance is the logical consequence of not keeping up payments. But with 1 month's notice - that is harsh!


      1. steviebuk Silver badge

        Re: " in marked contrast to US tech employers"

        Its the CCP. They'll have put a massive mark up on the flat that is no doubt, poorly built and the staff were probably poorly paid so they can't afford the flat even if offered.

      2. that one in the corner Silver badge

        Re: " in marked contrast to US tech employers"

        After hearing about "at will" employment practises and the layoffs at US companies (although the likes of Twitter hardly count as "tech" so guess ignore them) this does sound rather jingoistic.

        Although one could hope that instead of finding the full settlement in one go there was a conversion to rental. But would you expect any company, US or Chinese, to be able/willing to take on the switchover to being in the landlord business at a time they having to lay off the staff? Nice idea, but realistically...

        > Apartments were reportedly offered to core managers and R&D employees

        So, not the lowest paid peons being evicted - probably not even a majority of those laid off.

  2. elregidente

    I had much the same experience in Stockholm.

    In Sweden, the rental market is staggeringly State-controlled. It is actually illegal to rent without permission from the State. The way it works is that as time passes, you build up points, and the more points you have, the nicer the apartments you're allowed to rent. It takes over twenty years to legally rent in central Stockholm. The State (of course) sets the rent price, and it is very, very low. You then have a secondary market, where tenants can sublet, without the knowledge or consent of the owner, and they mark up the rent to the market price. AirBnB helped enormously until it was basically banned.

    It's hell for everyone, in the name of being fair, which it absolutely is not, and of course the ultimate effect is to profoundly discourage the construction of new properties, so there's *also* a crippling shortage of properties, too.

    Given all this, when companies want to hire people from outside Sweden, they have to provide housing for them, because it's impossible to legally rent in Stockholm, and a nightmare to illegally rent (and no one coming in from the outside can cope with that market).

    What that means is the company turns to private companies which hold their own stock of property and you pick one and pay the rent - and so when you leave or lose your job, you also lose your apartment.

    The best place to rent, IME, has always been London. I'm sure plenty of people think it's bad there, but it can be and is, in so many European cities, *profoundly* worse.

    1. Steve Kerr

      Re: I had much the same experience in Stockholm.

      Did not know that - thanks for that insight, have worked in Stockhold a fair bit (staying in hotels for a couple of days) but wasn't aware of that rental market.

    2. jcoc

      Re: adding unnecessary steps purely for the sake of legal compliance

      I think you have misunderstood the swedish rental market (I live here)

      Yes. There is state housing, for which you have to apply and there is a points system. ANd in Stockholm you might be waiting 20 years to get a place, particularly if you are picky about where you live.

      But it's not illegal to rent privately. Far from it.

      What is different is that your building (most people in cities live in apartments) or estate will have a board (normally a mixture of residents and a holding company). And they can set their own rules about renting. E.g one of my first buildings an owner could only rent an apartment out for 2 years maximum. They would have to let the board know, and they could theoretically say no to the person moving in (very rare). But at the end of 2 years, the owner either had to move back in, or sell (their rationale is that it allowed for people moving jobs, starting relationships without having to burn all their bridges, but they wanted a mostly stable population in the building).

      Then the next place I moved - no restriction - owners could rent as long as they wished. There were rules about access, and overcrowding, but that was pretty much it.

      So, absolutely not the case that you can't rent privately.

      What might hold back foreign "visitors" is that most places want you to have a swedish tax number. For people who are just being shipped in, but are not residing inSweden, then yes, companies might acquire their own housing stock because those people will find it difficult to rent privately.

      1. elregidente

        Re: adding unnecessary steps purely for the sake of legal compliance

        Found this, recent (2021) article on the BBC;

        "Why rent control isn’t working in Sweden."

        A bit superficial, but engaging - BBC all over really ;-) :-)

        Regarding renting - I may be wrong, but I understand there's first-hand renting (you rent directly from the owner), and this is State controlled; you have to go through the queue system, which is to say, renting directly is banned. There's also second-hand, which is sub-letting, when you're not renting from the owner, but from whomever is renting the place already (and then all bets are off - you can rent as you wish, but the rent is sky-high (due to the lack of supply) and you get a short-term contract with minimal or no protection, and you can end up changing apartment every few months.

    3. Ace2 Silver badge

      Re: I had much the same experience in Stockholm.

      I once had to move because the condo board where I rented decide to ban renting out units. Most likely directly as a result of me & my roommate, who were 40 years younger than anyone else in the building at the time. We weren’t generally noisy; they just didn’t like seeing us in the hallways.

      This was in the USA…

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It was amusing to see the way Americans get fired as some sort of role model, particularly after watching the way the second richest man in the world did it to his employees.

    To provide a different viewpoint: seen from France, there's hardly any difference between the way Chinese and American companies fire people. Both are mindbogglingly scary, and thankfully happening in far-away places.

    1. FIA Silver badge

      What happens if you get ill in China? I'd never want to get ill in America, I'm not wealthy.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Lets just put it this way, you dont want to get sick in either China or America. In America because it will cost you an arm and a leg to get treatment. In China, if you're outside of a big city, you wont find anywhere to get treatment (beyond, if your lucky, a local GP), and if your in a big city, and not a member of the Party, then you'll struggle to get GOOD treatment...

        Best to stay in a part of the civilised World (America and China need not apply...)

        1. M.V. Lipvig Silver badge

          And that's why Brits fly to the US for treatment because of long NHS waiting times, right? Because you guys are so civilized you queue up and wait months to get serious problems treated? Face it, socialized medicine is only fine when you're young and healthy. When you're not, well, I guess you'll find out.

          1. TechnicalVault

            Private healthcare in the UK

            Tbh that comment is so ill researched you should be ashamed you call yourself Moist, he'd be smarter about it.

            NHS waiting times are long for some procedures yes, however like the US money works, if I want to jump the queue I do the same as any moderately wealthy Yank would do, I go private. Most people who want private medical care neither want nor need to fly to the US for this, it's overpriced and the standard isn't much better than UK private. Most of the people who do go to the US for treatment cancer sufferers reaching out for some treatment where the manufacturer is massively overcharging and US insurance wouldn't cover it unless you get a Platinum plan. If it's something that the UK private hospitals don't provide then you can easily fly an hour or so. Somewhere in Europe will have it, eg you can get advanced cancer treatments like anti proton beam therapy privately in Spain.

            Instead I just phone up my insurance company and go to my local private hospital. Insurance company you say? Yes you can get health insurance in the UK but because UK insurance companies aren't on the hook for ER and indigent care thus it is massively cheaper. If I really want it cheaper than the UK I fly to Eastern Europe where if I am careful about my choice of hospital I can get medical procedures like dentistry or cosmetic surgery for a few thousand quid.

            The difference is that if I can't afford medical treatment and get hit by a bus in the UK, I don't wake up in the hospital with a few hundred thousands of dollars of medical bills because the ambulance took me somewhere out of network. The result of medical bankruptcies and indigent treatment costs in the US is socialised medicine, you're paying for someone else's treatment, you're just in denial about it.

      2. steviebuk Silver badge

        You're fucked. They have no health care program and no benefits system.

    2. John 104

      France. Where when people were told that they might actually have to work something close to a 40 hour work week threw a fit and rioted. Hardly a good example...

  4. Tubz Bronze badge

    Tough on employees, but dropping NAND demand against what they are supplying is good for consumer pricing.

  5. razorfishsl

    Ah yes....... no matter how advanced they claim to be.... their main business is corruption...

    1. Snar

      The Tories have been learning lessons.

      1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

        Learning or teaching?

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