Most Chinese Employees Overworked: Survey More than 80 percent of Chinese employees are overworked and under mental and physical stress at an average or higher level, according to a survey by a team at Wuhan University of Science and Technology.
Zhang Zhiyong, director of the Institute of Labor Economics at the university, and his team recently released the survey on workplace behavior and fatigue.
About 12.9% of employees work more than 10 hours of overtime a week, and often work 47.56 hours a week, higher than the national standard working hours of 40 hours a week, according to the data.
About 53% of employees say they often work late at night while 71.9 % have to comply to irregular working time.
A salesman surnamed Jin, who works at a safety technology company, said he often works between 8 and 16 hours a day and business trips are common.
Zheng Yan, a primary school teacher in Ordos City, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region said she teaches four classes and has to correct all kinds of homework, leaving her almost no chance to take a break at school.
Pressure from her boss and parents often leads to a loss of temper or inactivity back home, she said.
With the popularization of mobile Internet, the workplace is no longer at the office, which increasingly blurs the boundary between work and life.
The survey also shows that nearly four-fifths of employees exercise less than five hours a week, and more than half exercise less than one hour a day on average.
The grim employment situation discouraged my plan to quit my job, Zheng said.
China Ready to Import More Kenyan Goods
Chinese President Xi Jinping said China is willing to import more Kenyan goods to help the African country boost its competitiveness on Sunday in a meeting with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, who will attend the first China International Import Expo in Shanghai.
Xi welcomed Kenyatta to attend the first China International Import Expo. He said China is ready to help Kenya to increase the added value and boost the competitiveness of Kenyan products and expand imports from Kenya. China is willing to work with Kenya to research on projects of Kenya’s concerns such as railway construction, he added.
Xi noted that during the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in September this year, he and Kenyatta reached an important consensus on promoting the development of China-Kenya relations.
He said he hoped that Kenya provides a good environment for Chinese companies, and he calls the two countries to closely coordinate and cooperate in international and regional affairs to jointly defend the multilateral system and order.
Kenyatta said that he is glad to come to China and attend the first China International Import Expo and he looked forward to taking it as an opportunity to strengthen the economic and trade relations between the two countries.
He said he agrees with President Xi’s proposal that development is the master key to solving all problems. He also highly appreciates Xi’s initiative to build the Belt and Road Initiative and attaches importance to the China-Africa Cooperation Forum.
He said Kenya stands ready to work closely with China in the fields of economy, trade, agriculture and infrastructure construction, and to provide suitable conditions for Chinese enterprises to invest in Kenya. He stressed that Kenya is willing to work with China to promote the continuous development of Africa-China relations, jointly safeguard multilateralism and the free trade system, and contribute to building a community with shared future for mankind.
China’s Xinhua News Agency Debuts World’s First AI Anchors
China’s state-run news agency Xinhua debuted its first artificial intelligence (AI) news anchors at the ongoing fifth World Internet Conference that kicked off in Wuzhen, east China’s Zhejiang Province, on Wednesday.
The groundbreaking AI news anchors, one speaking Chinese and the other English, are the world’s first news anchors based on the latest AI technology.
Jointly developed by Xinhua and Chinese search engine Sogou, the AI anchors can work 24 hours a day reporting breaking news to audiences around the world.
In the video clips released by Xinhua, the AI news anchors resemble real people, as they were modeled on the news anchors working in the agency. They can deliver the news just like human anchors as their machine learning program can extract and synthesize the voice, lip movements and facial expressions of real anchors, according to Xinhua.
As editors input the news, the AI anchors tirelessly, quickly and accurately report it throughout the day.
According to Xinhua, the AI anchors have already joined the daily news reporting team and worked 24 hours a day reporting news on the agency’s social media platforms, including the news app, official WeChat and Weibo accounts as well as the TV webpage, bringing audiences “a brand new news experience.”
Xinhua said that the AI anchors have immeasurable prospects for the future news reporting as they could reduce production costs and improve efficiency and accuracy.
In recent years, AI is developing rapidly in China, especially in the burgeoning Internet field. From Internet giants to startups, many have achieved momentum in the study and research of AI technology, bringing dramatic changes to people’s daily lives.
The fifth edition of the annual World Internet Conference kicked off on Wednesday in east China’s historic water town of Wuzhen. First spearheaded by China in 2014, the event has always aimed to build “a community with a shared future in cyberspace,” and this year’s theme is “creating a digital world of mutual trust and collective governance.”
The Battered Blue Line
As hundreds of thousands of people marched peacefully through central London in a rally against the government’s spending cuts on March 26th, a hundred or so vandals, thought to be extreme anarchists and anti-capitalists, rampaged nearby. Banks and upmarket retailers near The Economist’s offices still bear the scars of the mayhem. Not for the first time, the Metropolitan Police stands accused of mishandling the unrest.
Even when attacked with missiles – including, reportedly, ammonia-filled lightbulbs – officers were restrained. They stood off as shop fronts were trashed and small fires were lit. (Fewer than ten people have been charged for crimes relating to violence, though many more for the aggravated trespass of Fortnum & Mason, a department store in which demonstrators staged a mostly peaceful sit-in.) There seemed little excuse for being caught out by the trouble: it had been planned online; there was violence at a protest against higher university-tuition fees three months earlier.
Yet the police could be forgiven for feeling exasperated by this criticism. After all, their handling of some previous demonstrations in London was condemned as too harsh. The tactic of “kettling” protesters – detaining them for extended periods within cordons of officers – has attracted controversy. The case of Ian Tomlinson, who was pushed to the ground by a police officer during a protest in 2009 and later died, is the subject of an ongoing inquiry.
It might be impossible to strike a Goldilocks-style balance – neither too tolerant nor too tough – that would please everybody. But there is a palpable need for consistent rules of engagement. There are likely to be more big marches in the coming years, as the government’s cuts bite. Even Prince William’s wedding to Kate Middleton on April 29th is purportedly being targeted by unruly demonstrators.
On March 28th Theresa May, the home secretary, said that she would consider giving the police more powers for future protests. Preventive measures that helped to ease Britain’s once-endemic problem of football hooliganism could be adopted. For example, rogue elements could be banned from attending marches (though this would be harder to enforce than a ban on a hooligan entering a stadium). Mrs May hinted that the police should use existing powers to force protesters to remove the balaclavas and face-coverings often worn by rioters. Many would like her to go further. Andy Hayman, a former assistant commissioner of the Met, suggests dawn raids on known troublemakers’ homes.
New rules and powers, however, will only help to deal with the most hardened and violent rioters. A larger, trickier group are clever enough to cause trouble while staying within whatever laws prevail at the time. Disruption and intimidation that stops short of actual violence are becoming their speciality.
In any case, the allegedly lax line taken by the police towards the violence probably has less to do with their powers than with fears of being accused of brutality. Britain has lived through angry political epochs before: there were riots against the “poll tax” in 1990, for example. But in those days a police officer’s every action was not filmed on protesters’ mobile-phone cameras. The technology enables scrutiny. It also risks shaping a policing strategy that errs on the side of passivity.