Software developers for Chinese tech industry detail tough working conditions, long working...

zakislam

Posts: 52   +1
Why it matters: It's no secret that work culture in many Chinese companies is completely out of the norm for employees, with many subjected to long working hours. A new protest has shed some more light on such working conditions, particularly for Chinese software developers.

A protest named WorkingTime has allowed workers to contribute to a spreadsheet that details working conditions for hundreds of companies. Developers looking for a job will benefit from the clarity presented by the project in terms of how many hours of work are expected for certain tech firms.

"The opacity of working hours in some companies, working time is a very important factor in choosing an offer," a founder of the project stated on a Chinese Q&A site.

The identity of those behind WorkingTime remains a mystery, but their efforts have had a considerable impact among workers. It's already received over 10 million views, which has culminated in thousands of entries.

The spreadsheet logs how many hours employees work within a week. Details pertaining to breaks, as well as job descriptions are also included. While some confirm a workweek of around 40 hours -- with perks like subsidized housing -- others have revealed long working hours remain at several companies.

Those who have contributed to WorkingTime are employees of some of China's largest technology giants such as Alibaba, Tencent, Huawei and Bytedance. Global conglomerates are included in the project as well like Dyson, Intel and IBM.

"I often go on business trips. I have been on business for half of a month. I leave work after 10 o'clock every night at the customer's site. I have to work overtime on weekends. The entire department has worked for two years except for the leaders," wrote one employee.

"Mandatory to keep people on duty every night, compulsory all staff to work overtime every Saturday, no overtime pay, working hours over 10 hours," another individual added. One worker also states that if the daily workload cannot be completed at his firm, overtime at home is required.

In China, many businesses require 72-hour working weeks from their workforces. The schedule, otherwise billed as "996," has made a work culture where employees work from 9am to 9pm for six days a week commonplace. To make matters worse, these long working hours do not contain overtime payments.

A Chinese court recently ruled that this arrangement is illegal; it limited overtime to 36 hours per month with compensation required for anyone working extra hours. However, as independent labour unions are impermissible in the region, the "996" practice continues due to limited oversight.

South Korea is also notorious for similar tough working conditions. To combat a culture of working overtime, the country enacted a "shutdown initiative" that caps the amount of hours government employees are expected to work.

Japan is another country that is no stranger to excessive working hours. A Microsoft experiment for its employees in Japan, meanwhile, resulted in a productivity boost of 40 percent thanks to a four-day workweek.

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Dimitriid

Posts: 1,301   +2,552
The sad part is that I bet most of the time is just pointless rework and debugging: You can't really force a person to code for 10 straight hours and expect no issues related to both lack of lateral thinking and problem solving and difficulty assessing faulty logic and syntax issues: metal exhaustion is a thing that happens often after just a handful of straight hours without rest and I bet being able to rest would help them code faster than saying "You're staying until your code works" as a method of development.
 

mgwerner

Posts: 138   +158
12 hour workdays are the norm for China, the most populous country in the world. So stating that their workdays are out of the norm for the world is misleading at best. Many businesses have supervisors who will call employees at all hours, to solve problems, and if the phone is not answered, there are repercussions.
Same goes for the school day - 10-12 hours 6 days a week. It is the norm. Most students are not happy about it, but they do it because their country is extremely competitive, and in order to land the best job, you need the best scores. Once in that great job, they are going to work long hours as they are their parents' retirement plan.
You cannot judge another culture based on the values of your own, it is a false equivalence.
 

Sausagemeat

Posts: 1,039   +866
The greatest human rights abuses of all time are currently occurring today in modern China. In London we see many protests. Some against Trump, some against Israeli politicians. Some against the general lack of cavity wall insulation in peoples homes. Yet I see no one marching against the Chinese regime that is commuting genocide alongside driving their citizens to work endless hours in factories for very little pay.
 

eforce

Posts: 567   +714
The greatest human rights abuses of all time are currently occurring today in modern China. In London we see many protests. Some against Trump, some against Israeli politicians. Some against the general lack of cavity wall insulation in peoples homes. Yet I see no one marching against the Chinese regime that is commuting genocide alongside driving their citizens to work endless hours in factories for very little pay.

Those protests in Western countries are generally backed by the establishment in order to create the false impression of popular support for more state power, many of which are in bed with China like BoJo and his family.
 

Vulcanproject

Posts: 1,435   +2,567
China have been embarking on a program to catch up, match and then exceed the developed economies of the west since the day Mao took full control in 1949. To do this was an enormous task, similar to the one the Soviet Union attempted starting in the 1920s. Not in the least by heavy duty spying, wholesale technological theft and beating up on every one of its working citizens. Except the powerful and political elite of course, all in the name of accelerating the process. Sound familiar?

This has been ongoing for the last 70 years and won't stop until they are indeed the foremost economy and power. Honestly to me that seems inevitable, later this century. 50 years tops. I am lucky because I will hope to be dead and not around to 'enjoy' the consequences of that.
 

yRaz

Posts: 3,890   +4,134
China have been embarking on a program to catch up, match and then exceed the developed economies of the west since the day Mao took full control in 1949. To do this was an enormous task, similar to the one the Soviet Union attempted starting in the 1920s. Not in the least by heavy duty spying, wholesale technological theft and beating up on every one of its working citizens. Except the powerful and political elite of course, all in the name of accelerating the process. Sound familiar?

This has been ongoing for the last 70 years and won't stop until they are indeed the foremost economy and power. Honestly to me that seems inevitable, later this century. 50 years tops. I am lucky because I will hope to be dead and not around to 'enjoy' the consequences of that.
I don't think that will happen. The Chinese people aren't that stupid. The reason China is tightening its grip on its citizens so much is that it knows about the discontent for the government by it's people. Frankly, I don't think it will take more than China starting a war with Australia or Taiwan for rebel groups to start popping up inside China. The same thing happened in Germany during WW2 and history tends to repeat itself.
 
I used to work in the media industry in HK/China. Yep, I was called at 1:30am in the morning to start working on something that's supposedly "urgent".
 

p51d007

Posts: 2,889   +2,269
So? It's COMMUNIST china. You are nothing but a "worker" in that prison nation. Either you work, or you are nothing to them. And, those of us who buy their crap, are just as guilty.
 

BadThad

Posts: 729   +812
Communism SUCKS! Let this be a lesson to all the ignorant fools in America that think it's the best system - pathetic!
 
I think it is norm in every country. My son and Daughter in law work for a SM company in USA and sometimes they have meetings at 2 and 3 am. The scheduling is so pathetic that sometimes they have meetings at the same time and the small child is left to herself for hours together, This is not only during pandemic but even when things were normal. They have NOT taken any vacation.in ages.
 

TempleOrion

Posts: 76   +45
Communism SUCKS! Let this be a lesson to all the ignorant fools in America that think it's the best system - pathetic!

You do know that *actual* Communism doesn't exist anywhere on the planet (and never has, and likely never will - early Israeli kibbutzim perhaps coming closest) and that China's obviously Capitalist-fascist regime is the farthest from 'Communism' the world has ever seen?

Oh, sorry, of course you don't know that - because the fabulous American education system turns out ignoramuses by the millions...

Bet you think the 'Democratic People's Republic of North Korea' is 'democratic' too LMAO...
 

BadThad

Posts: 729   +812
You do know that *actual* Communism doesn't exist anywhere on the planet (and never has, and likely never will - early Israeli kibbutzim perhaps coming closest) and that China's obviously Capitalist-fascist regime is the farthest from 'Communism' the world has ever seen?

Oh, sorry, of course you don't know that - because the fabulous American education system turns out ignoramuses by the millions...

Bet you think the 'Democratic People's Republic of North Korea' is 'democratic' too LMAO...

You're a real comedian! China is a COMMUNIST COUNTRY - guess I'll be the one to educate you. And you have the gall to imply I'm the ignorant one? Pathetic! What stellar education do you have? As a scientist, I'll pit my education against yours ANY day if you want to have a contest.

Since you obviously have trouble researching and reading (probably your education):


The Chinese Communist Party (CCP),[12] officially the Communist Party of China (CPC), is the founding and sole governing party of the People's Republic of China (PRC).
 
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Danny101

Posts: 1,912   +815
Well, I've worked the same kind of hours, doing physical labor in the hot and humid heat, repairing crash vehicles. And this was in America. Can't really say which is better, physical labor or mental labor. So everybody works.