Black business

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The term black business is an Asian term in terms of origin and use. In the west, corporate and social responsibility has been on the minds of management teams for a while. It is also starting to get traction in Asian companies that are exposed to international markets. It doesn’t seem to trouble some Japanese companies however.

Black business as a term, isn’t about environmental issues, though I imagine that they probably won’t rate great on that either compared t their peers. 

Instead black business focuses purely on how they manage and treat their employees. A black business is a dismal place to work. 

A black business is described as a company that overworks its employees, harasses them, and/or pays significantly low wages for the work provided.

Charges against black businesses include death by overwork. While this is a Japanese buzzword, it doesn’t apply strictly to Japanese companies or their workers. Death by overwork happens in multinational companies. International advertising agencies have a reputation for it. 

Work cultures in Chinese companies would be typical of black business attributes. These would generally fall into the kind of wolf culture seen at firms like Huawei. The 996 working style prevalent in Chinese tech firms, would be considered overworking members of staff. Chinese fashion online retail company Pin Duo Duo has seen a number of employee deaths through overwork.

Foxconn saw worker suicides soar due to pressure on employees and their difficulties adjusting to life on huge campuses. 

Many Chinese construction firms working abroad routinely pay their Chinese employees six months late. This is due to the hamfisted mess that payments are made from the main contractor to sub-contractors.

Workers rights in China are routinely suppressed by unions in concert with the employer and the local government.  

More information

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