Chinese officials could move to amend laws that would grant ride-hailing and food delivery drivers the ability to form unions, Chinese state media Xinhua reported on Friday (Dec. 17).
The amendment to its trade union law would implement new rules that would expand what kinds of operations and what kind of work being done would qualify those duties for union formation, Yue Zhongming, a spokesperson for the China parliament’s Legislative Affairs Commission, said at a news conference on Friday (Dec. 17), according to Xinhua.
As part of China’s ongoing regulatory crackdown on technology firms, platform companies driving the gig economy are also being eyeballed as part of the wave of inquiries. Food delivery platforms were urged in July, for example, that couriers be paid more than minimum pay, along with other perks.
Ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing and eCommerce marketplace JD.com both said they indicated their desire to set up unions for their staff, according to reports.
Every union in China must register with the government’s All-China Federation of Trade Unions (ACTFU). So far, the unions have largely applied to the manufacturing and transportation industries.
The U.S. and China spend the most on ridesharing services, and that’s expected to account for 65% of the total market value by 2026, PYMNTS reported.
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Regulators in China have already imposed new rules for the country’s ride-hailing sector that include limits on dispatch fees that companies can earn, and calls to offer drivers benefits such as insurance, as PYMNTS reported.
China’s new mandates have also told some ride-hailing firms that certain drivers should be considered employees, and entitled to the same benefits as other employees.