Chinese tech workers disclose working hours in criticism of ‘996’

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SHANGHAI, Oct 14 (Businesshala) – A campaign calling on employees of Chinese tech companies and other high-profile firms to log their working hours on a public Internet page has gone viral, the latest backlash against the culture of overtime is in.

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Organized by four anonymous creators who describe themselves as recent graduates, the “Worker Lives Matter” campaign asks employees of tech firms to enter their company name, position and working hours in spreadsheets posted to GitHub. calls for.

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As of Thursday morning, more than 4,000 people working at tech giants such as Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (9988.HK), Baidu Inc (9888.HK), Tencent Holdings Ltd (0700.HK) and ByteDance had registered their data. . .

Since then employees have also created separate spreadsheets for specific areas such as real estate, finance and foreign companies.

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Most entries on the spreadsheet indicate that while a five-day week is ideal, many employees work 10 to 12 hours a day.

One of the creators said in a post that he hopes the list will be an effective reference tool for workers when choosing a job.

In another post, the team argued that the “996” practice of working six days a week from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. was prevalent and that working hours at Internet firms were often opaque.

“We look forward to boycotting ‘996’ and contributing to the popularization of ‘955’,” said a creator on the Chinese question-and-answer site Zhihu in a 6 million views post. “955” means five days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Alibaba, Tencent, Baidu and ByteDance did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Long working hours are a hot topic for China’s tech workers and others in the young, white-collar class.

The issue first gained attention in 2019, when technical staff launched a similar online campaign against “996.”

In recent months, criticism of long hours has gained traction due to the government’s crackdown on tech companies, which has shed light on their treatment of workers.

This year, companies including TikTok owner ByteDance, short video platform Kuaishou (1024.HK) and food delivery giant Meituan have cut mandatory weekend overtime. In August China’s top court declared “996” illegal.

Reporting by Josh Horvitz; Additional reporting by Yingzhi Yang; Editing by Robert Birsella

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