Tech companies in China are removing their overtime

Saturday, July 17, 2021 – 17:38 | Last Updated : 17 07 2021 – 17:38

China is one of the countries with the most technology companies in the world. While phone and game companies make a great contribution to the country’s economy, a new overtime decision came from China-based companies.

Overtime is falling in China. Chinese technology company ByteDance, owner of TikTok, announced that weekend shifts will be removed from August 1. On the other hand, PUBG Mobile’s developer Lightspeed & Quantom Studio and TikTok’s rival Kuaishou also announced that their weekend shifts were canceled.

Analysts, speaking to the Singapore newspaper The Straits Times, noted that the companies took these steps to comply with China’s national goals of increasing birth rates and labor laws. The work culture known as “996”, which means working 6 days a week between 09.00 and 21.00, is seen as one of the most important reasons for the decline in China’s population growth. The country had an all-time low birth rate of 1.3 last year.

In the news, it was written that one of the reasons for the decrease in population growth was “nei juan”. “Nei juan” means that city dwellers feel pressured to compete to stay ahead of their peers. Young couples express that they are crushed under “nei juan” and do not want to have children. In fact, analyst Bo Zhengyuan says that young couples do not want to have children because of this.


Although it is expected that technology companies’ removal of weekend shifts will reduce “nei juan”, experts draw attention to another point. Liu Erduo, an academic at Renmin University, said that the main issue lies in the attitude of companies:

If companies cut their employees’ salaries or if the staff’s work remains the same, the change will not achieve its purpose.

On the other hand, some employees of technology companies advocate overtime.

A ByteDance employee, who did not reveal his name because he was not allowed to speak to the press, said that overtime pay constitutes about 15 percent of his monthly salary, adding:

I’m worried that I’ll be doing the same job as before. So instead of getting paid overtime to complete my job, I can earn less money by having to work in my spare time.