How Chinese Society Has Given Rise to 996 Work Culture

In late March, the Chinese tech world was rocked by protests from workers against startups’ “996” work culture (the idea that employees should work from 9am-9pm 6 days a week). Although the initial wave of interest in a protest page set up on GitHub has subsided somewhat, the controversy over tech companies’ employment practices has continued in China.

Discussions on the topic have examined it from an array of angles, from its legal and ethical status to the mentality and reality of “working hard to gain a better life”.

In this Wǒ Men Podcast episode, we take a different approach to discussing 996 by inviting Cynthia He, a senior executive of a number of US-listed technology companies, to look at the underlying societal rationale behind this working culture.