JD, other platforms become ‘more amicable’ to seep into regulatory changes

A recent subtle logo change for JD.com’s app, together with the company’s latest announcement that it will raise workers’ wages have sparked speculation that the leading Chinese e-commerce platform is seeking to nurture a more compliant, low-profile image and shoulder more social responsibility amid the nation’s drive to tighten industry regulation.

The dog mascot on the JD.com app logo is taking a simpler form with a wider smile on its face, making the logo more amicable and acceptable, according to the observation of Fancaiju, an independent social media outlet.

JD.com had no comment on the logo change.

Separately, JD.com said in a WeChat post on Tuesday that it will hike employees’ yearly salary to the equivalent of 16-month pay by July 2023 from present 14-month model, representing a 14-percent increase on average.

The pay rise has become a hotly discussed topic on Chinese social media Weibo. However, the salary increase won’t cover all employees, according to media reports, as some grassroots workers may not be included. The Beijing-based company employs about 370,000 workers.

Ge Jia, an independent tech analyst, told the Global Times on Wednesday that the salary rise is more of a market-driven move based on the company’s own demand: attracting talent. “There is also some external pressure from society,” he added.

An article published on Tuesday in the People’s Political Consultative Daily, under the auspices of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, said that the sprawling platform economy in China should be reined in to prevent it from “exploiting surplus labor and its high surplus value endlessly.”

Meanwhile, the newspaper called for safeguarding the market order of fair competition.

Internet firms, experiencing rapid expansion over the past decade, need to realize the nation’s resolve to strengthen regulations to ensure their sound growth, Ge said. More companies will actively assume more social responsibilities and build a moderate social image instead of putting money first in forming their ecosystems.

Ele.me, a major food delivery service platform, announced the launch of “Summer Action” on Wednesday. The first batch of fund, 300 million yuan ($46 million), will be invested on improving delivery workers’ welfare, such as rewards for every delivery and summertime high temperature allowances.

“Big Tech in the country needs to know that it’s high time to make some changes. What the regulators desire might include optimizing the labor structure, implementing rectification as required, instead of merely paying lip service,” Ge noted.

Source: Global Times

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