6. Explaining the history of Zhongguancun, China’s Silicon Valley. (Wired $)

7. A Chinese state-owned bank in Hong Kong is luring new mainland customers with the chance to get shots of the mRNA vaccine. (Financial Times $)

Lost in translation

The new year brings new changes, and as reported by Chinese tech publication Baobian, many Chinese Big Tech employees are leaving the industry and reflecting on how they ended up working on meaningless “stupidity.”

Although the country’s technology industry is relatively young, these companies, like their Western counterparts, have grown into giant corporations burdened by bureaucracy and poor efficiency. A major source of frustration for employees is feeling like they are spending months working on minor product changes that can be vetoed at the last minute. For example, making a simple UI design change requires two weeks of opposition research, and the final product lacks originality. Some workers also feel that they are losing their individual purpose in helping the company optimize its money-making mechanism.

Luyi, who has worked at Tencent, Alibaba and ByteDance in various capacities, felt that she was aiming for abstract numbers based on unreliable data analytics and ended up achieving nothing. Last year, she finally decided to leave the tech industry and went to work at an art gallery in Beijing. “When I successfully organize an art exhibition, there is a huge sense of achievement. I can get a lot of positive feedback on stage,” she said. She missed that feeling 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 held a ceremony on Friday in which a tiger and a rabbit were placed on the same table. But the video was immediately cut short when the tiger pounced on the rabbit’s neck, the reporter screamed in panic and the scene descended into chaos. Fortunately, the rabbit was not hurt. Otherwise, it would be a terrible omen for the new year.

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