SHANGHAI, Oct 14 (Reuters) - A campaign calling on workers
at Chinese tech companies and other high-profile firms to log
their working hours on a public internet page has gone viral, in
the latest backlash against a culture of overtime.
Organised by four anonymous creators who described
themselves as recent graduates, the "Worker Lives Matter"
campaign calls on employees at tech firms to enter their company
name, position, and working hours in a spreadsheet posted on
As of Thursday morning, more than 4,000 people who said they
worked at tech giants such as Alibaba Group Holding Ltd
, Baidu Inc, Tencent Holdings Ltd
and ByteDance had registered their data.
Employees have since also created separate spreadsheets for
specific sectors such as real estate, finance, and foreign
A majority of the entries on the spreadsheet show that while
a five-day week is the norm, many staffers work 10 to 12 hours a
One of the creators said in a post that they hoped the list
would be an effective reference tool for workers when choosing
In another post, the team argued that the "996" practice of
working 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. six days a week was rife and working
hours were at internet firms were often opaque.
"We hope to make a contribution to the boycott of '996' and
the popularization of '955'," said one of the creators on
China's question-and-answer site Zhihu in a post viewed 6
million times. "955" mean 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. five days a week.
Alibaba, Tencent, Baidu and ByteDance did not immediately
respond to requests for comment.
Long work hours are a hot topic for China's tech workers and
others among the young, white-collar class.
The issue first gained attention in 2019, when tech workers
launched a similar online campaign against "996".
In recent months, criticism of long hours has gained
traction because of a government crackdown on tech companies
that has shone a spotlight on their treatment of workers.
This year, companies including TikTok owner ByteDance, short
video platform Kuaishou and food delivery giant
Meituan have cut compulsory weekend overtime. China's top court
in August described "996" as illegal.
(Reporting by Josh Horwitz; Additional reporting by Yingzhi
Yang; Editing by Robert Birsel)