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

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SHANGHAI, Oct 14 (Reuters) – A marketing campaign calling on workers at Chinese tech corporations and different high-profile corporations to log their working hours on a public web web page has gone viral, in the newest backlash towards a tradition of time beyond regulation.

Organised by 4 nameless creators who described themselves as current graduates, the “Worker Lives Matter” marketing campaign calls on workers at tech corporations to enter their firm identify, place, and working hours in a spreadsheet posted on GitHub.

As of Thursday morning, greater than 4,000 individuals who stated they labored at tech giants similar to Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (9988.HK), Baidu Inc (9888.HK), Tencent Holdings Ltd (0700.HK) and ByteDance had registered their information.

Employees have since additionally created separate spreadsheets for particular sectors similar to actual property, finance, and international corporations.

A majority of the entries on the spreadsheet present that whereas a five-day week is the norm, many staffers work 10 to 12 hours a day.

One of the creators stated in a publish that they hoped the checklist can be an efficient reference device for workers when selecting jobs.

In one other publish, the staff argued that the “996” observe of working 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. six days every week was rife and working hours have been at web corporations have been typically opaque.

“We hope to make a contribution to the boycott of ‘996’ and the popularization of ‘955’,” stated one of the creators on China’s question-and-answer website Zhihu in a publish seen 6 million occasions. “955” imply 9 a.m. to five p.m. 5 days every week.

Alibaba, Tencent, Baidu and ByteDance didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.

Long work hours are a scorching subject for China’s tech workers and others among the many younger, white-collar class.

The difficulty first gained consideration in 2019, when tech workers launched an identical on-line marketing campaign towards “996”.

In current months, criticism of lengthy hours has gained traction as a result of of a authorities crackdown on tech corporations that has shone a highlight on their therapy of workers.

This 12 months, corporations together with TikTok proprietor ByteDance, quick video platform Kuaishou (1024.HK) and meals supply big Meituan have reduce obligatory weekend time beyond regulation. China’s high courtroom in August described “996” as unlawful.

Reporting by Josh Horwitz; Additional reporting by Yingzhi Yang; Editing by Robert Birsel

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