Chinese work culture

Chinese work culture

China may not be able to stop overwork culture even if it wants
Legally, China promises to cultivate a healthy work-life balance. Labor laws limit employees to work 8 hours a day, or 44 hours per week, with overtime limited to 36 hours per month.   The reality is the polar opposite. Many workers in China are subject to a grueling work culture that is so ingrained it is drawing serious concern from Chinese lawmakers.  But people are doubtful that the “996” culture - working from 9am to 9pm for 6 days per week - will change anytime soon.  One official, Li Guohua, a deputy of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), suggested that regulators should clamp down on the overwork culture and “show their teeth” to companies participating i
Chinese work culture tries to find its Zen
China’s grueling 72-hour work week has become a defining feature of its rise into a modern tech powerhouse. But now, young entrepreneurs are hoping an older tradition can provide a guiding light. Known as “Buddhist entrepreneurs,” they are thumbing their noses at China’s controversial “996” work culture – which stands for working 9am to 9pm six days a week. Among those embracing the philosophy are Su Hua, the CEO of TikTok-like short video app Kuaishou, and Chen Rui, the chairman of one of China’s most popular video platforms Bilibili. They espouse a more chilled-out approach when it comes to work, choosing when, where and how many hours they work. But many entrepreneurs and investors are s
Squad of women fight discrimination in Chinese work culture
There’s a dark side for women seeking employment in China – blatant gender discrimination. During job interviews, many women routinely face questions of whether they are single or married, while others are forced to sign contracts that state they won’t get pregnant for three years. “We’ve come across (job) ads that say ‘women under 30’,” said a women’s rights campaigner who goes by the alias Hepburn. She added that others state bluntly: “men preferred.” Hepburn is a member of the “Inspection Squad for Workplace Gender Discrimination,” a 70-person strong movement taking on China’s corporations in the fight for equality. But, she admits, it’s a difficult battle, particularly as Chinese Presid
Most Chinese children sleep less than eight hours a day
The Chinese government is getting tough on schools after a growing body of evidence shows students are severely sleep-deprived.  Education Minister Chen Baosheng said lack of sleep was taking a toll on China’s children, and the government would add sleep time in its annual appraisal of schools.  A 2019 study from the Chinese Sleep Research Society showed that 63% of Chinese children aged between 6 to 17 get less than eight hours of sleep a night due to the heavy burden of homework. The number goes up to 81% among teenagers aged between 13 to 17.  “I think compared with their counterparts in Northern Europe and Australia, kids in East Asian countries like China, Japan and South Korea all lack
35 may be too old to find work in China
Is 35 suddenly becoming “over the hill” in China? It certainly feels that way to some workers.  As the competition for jobs becomes more fierce among a pandemic-related economic slowdown, a growing number of employment ads are posting age limits of 35 for fresh applicants.  The problem is so widespread that state media has even branded it the “age 35 phenomenon.” In his forties, David Huang is one of the scores of Chinese workers above 35 feeling increasingly vulnerable.  After the small clothing factory he owned in the southern province of Guangdong closed last year, he now roams between wet markets and roadside stalls, trying to sell his remaining inventory of about 10,000 garments. “I’m
Chinese women are redefining success and television is to thank
Chinese women are choosing money over marriage - and it’s all because of what’s on TV, according to a recently released study. The report released by research firm Bernstein found that as television dramas become more focused on wealth and materialism, so too have young Chinese women. Their idea of success has switched from “marrying well” to “being the architect of your own success.” In the last four decades, China has experienced an unprecedented rise in prosperity as one of the world’s fastest-growing economies. “Chinese television series have evolved as a mirror of society, moving wealth and money to a center stage position,” the study found. According to the report, the number of femal
Two firings put China’s extreme work culture under the microscope
Allegations of China’s brutal work culture have been thrown under the spotlight again after two work dispute cases came to light this week. The debate was re-ignited after a man was fired for attending his father’s funeral and a woman dismissed when she refused to stay back at work to practice dancing for the company’s annual Chinese New Year party. The disputes have sparked an evaluation on social media over China’s ingrained culture of overwork. Chinese people are criticizing work expectations that make them feel like slaves and unable to stand up for themselves. On Sunday, the Shandong Higher People’s Court, released details of a dispute in which a Shanghai-based security employee, Lu Yu
‘I felt naked’: Chinese worker claims she was gifted a surveillance cushion
A Chinese employee has complained of feeling “naked at work” after discovering that bosses were collecting data from her posterior without her knowledge. The administration employee, Wang, who worked for Hangzhou-based, high-tech company, Hebo Technology in China’s eastern Zhejiang province, was shocked and upset to learn that the ‘smart cushion’ her bosses had given her and nine other employees, supposedly for their wellbeing, was instead being used to monitor their behavior at work. The cushion even alerted her bosses when they were away from their desks. Using social media to voice her outrage, Wang said at first she had welcomed the ‘smart cushion,’ believing it was given to monitor the
Chinese company fines workers who take more than one bathroom break
A company in China has imposed a controversial rule by fining employees who take more than one bathroom break during their shift. The factory said it imposed the regulation to improve efficiency after discovering that some workers were spending time in the bathroom playing games on their phones or smoking cigarettes.  According to photos published online by disgruntled employees last week, the factory in the city of Dongguan, in the province of Guangzhou fined six workers US$3 for using the restroom twice during their eight-hour shift.  Another was fined for not registering her bathroom break on the company log. It’s not the first time that Chinese employers have been caught imposing strict
‘Touching fish’ becomes unusual work philosophy of China’s Gen Z
Young people in China have recently embraced new ‘unofficial’ laziness rules in the workplace to protest against a modern work culture they believe is far too demanding without sufficient rewards.  In a snub to China’s rat race and expectation to work long hours, Generation Z is calling on their comrades to start slacking off, or as they have dubbed it, “touching fish,” or “mo yu.” Among the rules for laziness are doing stretches in the office pantry, using the most toilet paper in the company and filling a thermos full of Chinese tea or whiskey as a desk-side companion, business news outlet Quartz reported. This philosophy of “touching fish” is borrowed from a Chinese proverb which states,