Chinese tech works go viral with overtime protest

Employees are pushing back on the industry's debilitating culture of '9-9-6'

Chinese tech works go viral with overtime protest

Technology workers in China are protesting the industry’s debilitating culture of overtime.

The online protest, started by an anonymous activist, has gone viral. Called “996.ICU”, the protest is aimed at the industry’s “9-9-6” work culture – where workers clock in 9am to 9pm, six days a week.

Started on Microsoft’s GitHub, posts on “996.ICU” have gone viral amid large-scale layoffs in the sector. Workers across the industry share examples of excessive overtime and vote to blacklist companies, as well as to point out those with better working conditions.

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, JD.com Inc and drone maker DJI Technology Co Ltd were among the blacklisted firms.

A DJI spokesman told Reuters the company does not discuss specific employment issues, but it has “a firm commitment” to treating employees “with the highest respect” and providing a healthy working environment.

The campaign was the most bookmarked project last week with over 176,000 followers.

One post stated: “What’s the difference between these 996 companies and the old landlords who oppressed peasants?”

The anti-996 campaign is the latest example of activists demanding better work conditions and supporting calls for greater union representation.

A recent study found that forced overtime costs companies more money as a result of increased illness and absenteeism. To find out more, read here: ‘Forced’ overtime the greatest productivity killer

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