Backlash over China’s so-called 996 tech tribe practices

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – For over six years Qi Yaqian was a proud member of China’s so-called 996 tech tribe, working nights and weekends at Nuomi, a group deals website. The protest prompted a public debate about work hours in China’s tech industry, and spurred reactions from at least 10 Chinese tech moguls, including Ma, who initially defended the practice. Chinese state media said 996 violated the country’s labour laws, which mandate an average working week of 44 hours. Qi is not the only Chinese millennial to question the value of working long hours in the tech sector. The protests point to a mindset shift in the tech industry, whose penchant for long hours has been praised by Western executives as a reason for China’s economic rise.

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