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Migrant worker builds an online following

By Zhao Chenjie and Cao Bin | China Daily | Updated: 2022-05-19 09:47

He at work on a construction site. WANG XI/XINHUA

He's livestreams also create a platform where migrant workers can discuss topics that they care about, such as wage calculation, safety measures and retirement.

"When workers get older, it is safer to stop working at heights and leave construction, but their livelihoods should be taken into consideration," He says when chatting with his wife during a vlog discussing the welfare of older migrant workers.

Empowered by digital tools, migrant workers like He are making their voices heard and their lives more visible to a wider audience.

Plastering brings the couple 600 yuan ($89) per day, while He's new craft, vlogging, yields him 200 yuan per video on average, contributing more to their household income than construction work.

He started as a plastering apprentice decades back. Along with the rapid development of China's coastal regions, He and Tang joined the migration stream to seek a fortune in East China's Fujian province in 2003.

The couple lived in a 10-square-meter temporary shed and worked on scaffolds high above the ground for years, participating in the construction of soaring skyscrapers and modern buildings.

With urbanization in western China accelerating, the couple returned to their hometown of Dazhou in 2019 and are currently working on a construction site for a digital-economy industrial park.

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