China Technology Group Kuaishou Ends Mandatory Overtime Work on Sunday


Chinese short video company Kuaishou has officially cancelled its weekend overtime policy, and its rival TikTok’s parent company ByteDance is also internally discussing whether to do so.

Kuaishou’s move triggered Publicly listed USD 5.4 billion Earlier this year, the Chinese technology industry was struggling to respond to employee complaints of overwork and abuse.In January, the news of the deaths of two e-commerce giant Pinduoduo further stirred up the notorious nationwide “996” timetable Work six days a week from 9 am to 9 pm.

Kuaishou and ByteDance have previously accepted the common practice of many Chinese technology giants, called “big/small week”, which means that employees work on a Sunday every other weekend. Six months later, Kuaishou announced that it would end this practice this week.

Shan Guo, an analyst at consulting firm Plenum.ai in Shanghai, said that Beijing’s tightening of supervision of large technology companies may be the reason behind this change.

“After President Xi called for’preventing the disorderly expansion of capital’ last year and’strengthening worker protection’ in April, it is difficult for policy makers to turn a blind eye to the labor practices of the tech giants because the overtime policy is beneficial to capital-more owners than workers,” she was [Guo] Say.

Employees at ByteDance and Kuaishou also speculated that their company’s motive was to cut high overtime pay.

“We encourage employees to strike a balance between work and rest and spend more time with their family and friends,” Kuaishou wrote in an internal report to employees reported by domestic media last week, adding that when needed, it can still be Overtime is required. Kuaishou confirmed the policy change.

Some Kuaishou employees rejoiced to come back over the weekend. “Goodbye, big/small week!” An employee posted on the professional social platform Mai Mai and shared a screenshot of the alarm clock she set as a working day.

But many others questioned whether the move was only on the surface, saying they expected their team to ask them to “voluntarily” continue working on weekends.

If employees can really return to the weekend, this means that Kuaishou’s income and expenditure will be greatly reduced. China’s labor law stipulates that the wage for overtime work on weekends must be twice the normal wage.

Therefore, under the big/small week policy, the employee’s salary has increased by about 20%, which is a bonus that some young professionals prefer to keep.

Kuaishou’s move aroused the expectations of rival Bytedance employees, and they will soon follow suit. Domestic media reported that internal discussions will end in July on weekend work. Bytedance said it would not comment on market rumors.

At a company-wide meeting last month, Bytedance’s incoming CEO Liang Rubo announced that the company has been reconsidering the large/small week work policy that has been implemented for many years. However, Liang added that a survey of employees found that one-third of people supported the continuation of the policy, while one-third opposed it.

“There is a lot of pressure to solve this problem, but they don’t necessarily decide the best step forward,” one employee said. Another added that there are differences of opinion between management and different employee teams.

“Some people don’t want to lose their salary. Some people worry if [weekend working] Is cancelled, but the workload has not changed, then they will eventually fail,” an employee said.

Additional reporting by Nian Liu and Qianer Liu

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