China state news agency urges end to long work hours in tech

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China’s official Xinhua News Agency is asking for shorter work hours in the nation’s tech sector following the sudden loss of life final week of a younger worker at a number one e-commerce platform.

Last month’s tragedy refocused consideration on “the pain of an abnormal culture of overtime,” Xinhua mentioned in a quick editorial posted Tuesday on its Twitter-like Weibo account.

Dreams ought to be pursued via striving, however employees’ reliable rights and pursuits shouldn’t be sacrificed and employers could also be breaking the legislation in encouraging health-sapping overwork, Xinhua mentioned.

“Strengthening the protection of legal rights and interests for workers, letting those chasing their dreams run along in a healthy manner and introducing more warmth into the development of enterprises — that’s the form striving should take,” the news agency mentioned.

The editorial follows the Dec. 29 loss of life of a 22-year-old worker of Pingduoduo as she was strolling dwelling with a colleague at 1:30 a.m. Few particulars have been launched, apart from that the girl apparently suffered abdomen pains earlier than collapsing, however web customers have seized on the case for example of the well being impacts of long working days.

Grueling hours have long been an indicator of China’s tech trade, heralded by enterprise luminaries akin to Alibaba’s Jack Ma, one in every of China’s richest and most distinguished entrepreneurs. Ma drew controversy in 2019 by endorsing the “996” week, entailing working from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday via Saturday, with many arguing that might additional discourage younger folks from marrying and having youngsters.

The ruling Communist Party’s flagship People’s Daily newspaper even weighed in on the time, saying it was unfair of dictatorial managers to demand extreme additional time.

Worldwide, the tech sector is thought for demanding long hours spent designing, coding and processing buyer requests. While Chinese labor legislation limits the work week to 5 days and not more than 44 hours, growing numbers of individuals work exterior the state sector or in the casual economic system the place such laws have a tendency not to be adhered to as carefully.

China additionally outlaws impartial labor organizing, permitting just one union, the tightly party-controlled All-China Federation of Trade Unions.

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