Going to work at 9 am, going off work at 9 pm and working 6 days a week without OT pay- this “996” work schedule has been favored by many Chinese Internet companies.
On Thursday, China’s Craiglist, classified ads website 58.com was rumored to have adopted the 996 schedule for September, leading to strong disagreement from its staff.
Tech blogger “IT Gongchengshi” on Thursday posted a group chat screenshot, which was claimed by IT Gongchengshi to be an unofficial internal notification for 58.com staff. The notification said that all staff in their department shall be in the office before 9 am and shall not go off work before 9 pm from Monday to Saturday in September.
This led to a strong disagreement from the 58.com staff. Some of the raging staff left sharp words in 58.com CEO Yao Jingbo’s Weibo. Some of the protests went like this:
“Would you mind not crushing and exploiting us? Would you mind increasing our salary a little bit?”
“Please change the name ’58.com’ to ‘996.com’.”
“Show some respect to the labor law.”
“I prefer 007 to 996.”
58.com’s revenue was USD 297 million in Q2 2016, an 86.7% YoY increase. This might sound impressive, but its YoY revenue increase in Q1 was 165.6%. The company has expected its Q3 revenue to be at between 52% and 56%, implying a continuous growth slow-down in 2016.
Some people guess that the 996 schedule is an indirect or even covert plan for mass staff layoffs against the background of a declining performance of 58.com. Others say that this “996” work schedule has been a trick adopted by many other Internet companies in China.
(Top photo from Businessnewsdaily.com)