China is in an economic recession and many unemployed workers have returned to the countryside. Recently in Xiaoshan district, Hangzhou city, a digital governance model called “work dividend calculator” was introduced. Residents in Hangzhou city feel like they have returned to the time of the Cultural Revolution. They believe that the “work dividend calculator” is actually a tool to brainwash and control the people. Netizens believe that the rural economy will deteriorate even further after the model is expanded in the future.
The so-called “work dividend calculator” is a small program in WeChat that allows each registered user to earn work points and increase their credit worthiness by participating in various activities hosted by the town and village. These activities include reading certain articles, completing surveys, voluntary work, production labor, and public affairs participation. The more you participate, the more points you earn. These work points can be redeemed as cash to be spent at local businesses.
Hangzhou Daily reported on Aug. 9 that the campaign for “work dividend calculator” was launched online in Dashigai village and Foshan village, Xiaoshan District. The Party Secretary Yu of the district explained that the “work dividend calculator” came from “earning work points” in the villages, and it records the residents’ contributions and earnings in terms of work points and credit worthiness.
Work points were the units used to calculate the workload and labor compensation of employees in the days of the People’s communes from 1958 to 1983.
Residents in Hangzhou city believe that the “Work Dividend Calculator” is a tool used to brainwash and control the villagers. Once it is further implemented in the future, the rural economy will be worse.
Ms. Li from Hangzhou city said: “Without a doubt, this event is to brainwash the people. What’s the meaning behind work points? Work points can increase the credit system. What does it do for the economy? The ‘Alipay health code’ is heavily used in the Hangzhou area, but it is not needed to take the subway in Shanghai.”
The Alipay health code app tracks Chinese citizens’ health and travel history.
In February, during the epidemic, Alibaba’s Alipay and Hangzhou city were the first to introduce a health QR code.