Is unemployment new 'epidemic' spreading across China?

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: May 04, 2020, 09:29 PM(IST)

Coronavirus in China Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

The source of these videos-- remains unclear, what is clear though, is the source of China's worries. The country is struggling with unemployment.

When it had the chance China moved quickly to reopen Wuhan. A grand celebration was organised to signal normalcy. But, the situation got worst. Thousands of Chinese workers have lost their jobs.

They are now up in arms against their bosses -- and the political establishment.

A news report published by the epoch times shows pictures and clips from Chinese social media. Factories have reopened--- but they have no work. Angry business owners allegedly broke their machinery in protest.

More clips claim workers are out on the streets to protest layoffs.

The source of these videos-- remains unclear, what is clear though, is the source of China's worries. The country is struggling with unemployment.

Last month, China's Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security said more than 2.3 million people have received jobless benefits.

Some experts say China could be underplaying those numbers. China labour bulletin is an NGO based in Hong Kong. It is tracking the labour unrest inside China.

A dashboard on its website shows more than 100 cases of labour unrest since January.

China labour bulletin has recorded more than 70 disputes since March.

This was when the coronavirus outbreak had hit its peak in China. Data says that workers from different industries are protesting.

This includes textile wholesalers. They carried out a demonstration in a market in Guangzhou to demand a break on rent.

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Taiwanese contract manufacturer GNDC saw protests outside its head office on April 20. This company has been cutting part-time jobs.

20 players from the pro soccer team Liaoning Jonghyun football club are taking legal action. They haven't got their salaries.

Unemployment is definitely on China's mind.

Last month, the China communist party held a meeting on the economy. President Xi Jinping had chaired it. The party identified six areas or six ensures --- that will be their priority.

Employment was on top of the list. But, the growing protests tell a different story.

The communist party is facing growing public anger. President Xi Jinping's strong grip on power now faces another challenge.

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