6. The history of Zhongguancun, China’s Silicon Valley, explained. (Wired $)
7. A state-owned Chinese bank in Hong Kong is luring new customers from the mainland with the ability to get mRNA vaccine shots. (Financial Times $)
Lost in translation
The new year is for new changes, and as the Chinese technical publication Baobian reportedmany Chinese Big Tech workers leave the industry and reflect on how they ended up being useless”bullshit jobs.”
Although the technology industry in the country is relatively young, these companies, like their Western counterparts, have grown into giant corporations weighed down by bureaucracy and low efficiency. A major source of frustration for employees is the feeling that they are spending months on insignificant product changes that can be rejected at the last minute. For example, making a simple change to the user interface design requires two weeks of opposition research, and there is little originality in the final product. Some employees also feel that they are losing their individual purpose while helping the company optimize its money-making machinery.
Luyi, who worked in various roles for Tencent, Alibaba, and ByteDance, felt she was chasing abstract numbers based on unreliable data analysis and ultimately getting nowhere. Last year, she finally decided to quit the tech industry and started working for an art gallery in Beijing. “When I successfully organize an art exhibition, it gives me a huge sense of accomplishment. I can get a lot of positive feedback on the scene,” she said. That’s the feeling she missed when she worked at Big Tech.
One more thing
To celebrate the transition from the Year of the Tiger to the Year of the Rabbit, a zoo in western China hosted a ceremony Friday in which a tiger cub and a rabbit were placed on the same table. But the video was promptly cut off when the tiger went to the rabbit’s neck, the correspondent began screaming in panic, and the scene descended into chaos. Fortunately, the rabbit was reportedly unharmed. Otherwise it would have been a terrible omen for the new year.