Didi and JD.com set up landmark unions

Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Global has set up a union for its staff, as has e-commerce powerhouse JD.com; landmark moves in the country's tech sector, where organised labour is extremely rare.

Regulators in China have come down hard on its biggest technology firms this year, criticising them for policies that exploit workers and infringe on consumer rights, in addition to unleashing a slew of anti-trust probes and fines.

The government is also encouraging companies to implement wealth-sharing initiatives as part of a "common prosperity" drive laid out by President Xi Jinping.

His aim: to ease inequality in the world's second-largest economy.

Didi's union, announced on an internal forum, will be initially managed by employees at its Beijing headquarters and will be guided by the government-backed All China Federation of Trade Unions.

That's according to two people familiar with the matter.

JD.com confirmed that it established a trade union this week.

It and Didi are believed to be the biggest tech firms to date to have established company-wide unions.

The ride-hailing giant has been criticised by state media for not paying its drivers fairly, and said in April it would set up a drivers committee to improve income stability and transparency over wages.

It is also the subject of an investigation launched by several Chinese regulators on the heels of its $4.4 billion U.S. stock market listing.

Didi did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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