China’s burned tech workers are fighting against long hours

Tracking times

Working Hours begins with a spreadsheet shared by Tencent Docs, the Chinese version of Google Docs. Shortly after it was posted, it was filled with entries dedicated to companies such as Alibaba, Chinese-language internet search provider Baidu, and e-commerce company

“9 am, 10:30 pm – 11: 00 pm, six days a week, managers usually come home after midnight,” read an entry linked to tech giant Huawei.

“10 am, 9 pm (off-work time 9 pm, but our group will stay until 9:30 pm or 10 pm due to evolution, “said another entry (” involution “is Chinese internet slang for unfair competition).

Within three days, more than 1,000 entries were added. A few days later, it became a major trending topic on the likes of Quora online forum in China Zhihu.

As the spreadsheet grew and gained more public attention, an organizer, with the user name 秃头 才能 变 强 (“Only Baldness Can Make You Strong”), came out to Zhihu to share the story behind the progressing project.

“We are four recent college graduates and master’s degrees born between 1996 and 2001,” according to the organizer. Initially, the spreadsheet was just for sharing information, to help hunters work like themselves, they said. But with its popularity, the organizers decided to push from information collection to activism. “It’s not just about sharing, because we have a social responsibility,” 秃头 才能 变 强 wrote.

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