According to the “Blue Book of 2017 China’s Online Literature”, released by the Chinese Writers’ Association, by December 2017 the number of writers contracted by Chinese literary websites was about 680,000, and the number of those without a contract was as high as 13 million. Non-contract writers have no fixed income, and insurance companies will not provide them with health or social insurance. As a result, they find themselves exposed to quite a vulnerable situation. Even those who can earn high incomes may still feel insecure.
In recent years it has been widely reported that some well-known online writers died from cancer or overwork at a young age, which further sheds light on their severe living and working conditions.
This July Qingsongchou, the biggest online fundraising platform for healthcare and Zhangyue, a leading online literature platform, launched a project to provide healthcare assistance for online writers. The writers that work for Zhangyue can be provided with healthcare insurance in three ways: a serious disease subsidy of up to RMB 300,000 for the writers contracted by Zhangyue, a subsidy of up to RMB 300,000 for the writers and their immediate relatives who do not meet the conditions for the serious disease subsidy, and for those who do not meet the conditions for the two subsidies above, or in case these subsidies still do not meet the needs of the writers, Zhangyue helps to open up individual fundraising channels and provides funds accordingly.
It is hoped that the cooperation between these two influential platforms may help to arouse more public awareness regarding the difficult work conditions of this large professional group.