Known as the “996” schedule, Chinese tech industry has a notoriously long ritual of working from 9am to 9pm, six days a week and tech employees a beginning to rebel against this.
A project that initiated partly as a joke amongst exhausted Chinese developers within the past few weeks, has transformed itself into a national argument about rare protest against practices and work ethics at several of the country’s biggest tech companies.On the code-sharing podium Github called “996.icu”, a handful of developers began a project, in the latter part of March. Quoting a remark by a programmer implies that working such a long hours could result an employee entering the intensive care unit.
When users of the code sharing platform issued a blacklist containing more than 150 companies, the discussion gained momentum. Adding to this fire employees posted evidence that pushed their staff to work unnecessary hours of unpaid, often compulsory or heavily encouraged overtime.Companies should not permit their staff to work over eight hours a day or 40 hours a week, according to Chinese law. Moreover overtime is limited only to 36 hours a month.
Anyhow current and former employees of companies were seen on the blacklist. Some of them quite famous,the creator of the video app TikTok and the e-commerce platform Pinduoduo, Bytedance states such laws are frequently broken.A financial company associated with Alibaba, Ant Financial is said to have a “9106” work ethic. The schedule starts at 9am and ends at 10pm, for six days a week. In a different situation at a software company in Shandong province, the staff stated that they were obliges to work well over 100 hours of overtime in a month.
Along with startups trying to be more of like those in Silicon Valley, the extra hours at Chinese tech firms are a comparatively a new ritual as China’s tech industry has encountered rapid growth. Huawei supposedly encourages a violent, cut-throat “wolf culture” amongst its high rank officials. The Chinese tech industry is famous for promoting an enthusiasm with work.
CEOs of Chinese tech companies have safeguarded the long hours at their companies. The founder of Alibaba, one of the companies found on the blacklist, Jack Ma, called the 996 schedule “a huge blessing”. He further stated that workers should be considering it a blessing rather than a despair.
The argument has escalated across Chinese social media and many users have condemned the tech industry work ethic as “brutal”. Not only that, Chinese state media has dug in. “Employees who oppose the 996 cannot be considered as ‘not fighters’ or ‘slackers’ in fact what their real needs are should be taken into account.” the People’s Daily said, in its issue on Sunday: