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Chinese techies protest against very long work hours

Chinese techies protest against very long work hours

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Beijing:  Chinese tech employees have pushed back against the industry's notoriously long hours, known as the "996" schedule of working from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., six days a week, the media reported on Monday.

For months, former and current employees of some of the country's most well-known companies had been posting evidence of unpaid, often compulsory or heavily encouraged overtime on the code-sharing platform Github, reports the Guardian.

Over the last few weeks, that discussion spread across Chinese social media, prompting an outcry and a broader debate about work culture in China.

Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba, one of the companies included in a black list of firms forcing overtime on employees, has defended its long hours in comments. 

He called the "996" schedule "a huge blessing" and said workers should consider it an honour rather than a burden.

"If you join Alibaba, you should get ready to work 12 hours a day. Otherwise why did you come to Alibaba? We don't need those who comfortably work eight hours," he said, according to comments posted on the company's Wechat account.

Telecom giant Huawei reportedly promotes an aggressive, cut-throat "wolf culture" among its ranks. 

On Github, users have created a blacklist of more than 150 companies, including Bytedance, the creator of the video app TikTok, Huawei, and ecommerce firm Pinduoduo. 

Former and current employees continue to add to and edit the list, uploading details of the companies and the hours they require.

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