Chinese labour activist detained after he denounced work exploitation

ANI
·2-min read
Representative image
Representative image

Beijing [China], March 11 (ANI): A labour activist, who is famously known as "Leader of the Delivery Knights Alliance", has been detained by Chinese authorities after he posted online videos denouncing labour violations by China's top food delivery apps.

According to France 24, Xiong Yan -- a rider with the popular food delivery platform Ele.me -- has been working in the business alongside China's three million delivery riders since 2018.

But online, he's the face and the leader of the "Delivery Knights Alliance" online group -- an unofficial union that supports riders and creates online videos exposing the industry's unscrupulous labour practices.

The group was established by another leader in 2019 and counts more than 10,000 riders in its multiple WeChat groups.

On January 10, Xiong posted a video on Douyin (China's version of TikTok) about Han Yewei, a 43-year-old delivery rider who fell and died suddenly during a ride last December.

Examining Ele.me's insurance policy, Yewei's wife found that her late husband was being charged three yuan (EUR0.39) per day for what he assumed was an accident insurance premium. In reality, only one of the three yuan went towards accident insurance, so the family was only eligible for 30,000 yuan (EUR3,874) in insurance payouts.

Ele.me revised its policy, increasing its death insurance payout to 600,000 yuan after Netizens denounced the policy.

On February 17, Xiong posted another video in which he denounced Ele.me's deceptive New Year holiday bonus scheme for its riders.

In the video, which was viewed 553,000 on Chinese video platform Bilibili, he interviews a group of Beijing riders who chose not to go home for the Spring Festival due to the platform's holiday bonus scheme, which promised them rewards of around 8,000 yuan (EUR1,033) if they fulfilled certain delivery quotas.

On February 25, Xiong and several of his close friends were detained in Beijing for unknown reasons, reported Radio Free Asia, and have not been heard from since.

His outspoken activism and denunciation of food delivery giants may have made authorities uneasy, according to his peers. (ANI)