China blasts ‘996’ excessive work culture



“Lately, excessive additional time work in some industries has obtained widespread consideration,” the Supreme Individuals’s Courtroom wrote in its assertion, which it issued with the Ministry of Human Sources and Social Safety. Staff deserve rights for “relaxation and trip,” including that “adhering to the nationwide working hour system is the authorized obligation of employers,” the court docket wrote.

It cited a number of examples of corporations throughout a variety of industries it stated violated labor guidelines, together with an unnamed courier firm that it stated advised workers to work 996 hours. Telling workers to work that a lot “has critically violated the regulation on extending the higher restrict of working hours and must be deemed invalid,” the court docket stated.

The general public backlash in opposition to the excessive-work tradition is not new. Alibaba (BABA) co-founder Jack Ma, for instance, was closely criticized in China two years in the past after he referred to as 996 tradition a “big blessing.” And Chinese language labor regulation already prohibits workers from working that lengthy.

However the newest edict from the nation’s high court docket comes as Beijing embarks on an enormous crackdown on personal enterprise in China, rolling out new rules and fines to curtail the affect of highly effective firms. The crackdown has been justified by President Xi Jinping and different high officers as essential to sort out information safety dangers and inequality in training, and to forestall social instability.


“There’s nothing mistaken with advocating working arduous, but it surely can’t be a protect for employers to evade [their] authorized tasks,” the court docket wrote Thursday.

The controversy about 996 tradition has been revived this yr in the course of the crackdown on personal enterprise. In January, e-commerce firm Pinduoduo (PDD) confronted an intense backlash over allegations that it overworks its workers, after two of its workers died unexpectedly, together with a person who died by suicide.

The corporate didn’t reply on the time to questions in regards to the allegations made in opposition to its work tradition, however did say that it had arrange a workforce to supply psychological counseling following the suicide of a employee.

Lately younger individuals in China have additionally begun rejecting an intense work tradition by invoking a want to “lie flat,” or “tang ping.” The philosophy calls on individuals to reject societal pressures to work arduous, get married, have kids or purchase property due to the diminishing rewards of attaining such objectives.

— Laura He and Sophie Jeong contributed to this report.


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