Chinese tech companies like Tencent and Alibaba have been forcing their employees to work 72 hours a week due to the so-called “996 schedule.” After years of workes’ fighting against it, the court has officially declared this practice illegal.
The Supreme People’s Court of China ruled the 996 work schedule as illegal, Tech Crunch reported last week.
According to China’s labor laws, any work beyond a standard schedule of 44 hours a week should require extra pay. However, it didn’t prevent tech companies from using the 996 schedule, which forces employees to work six days a week, from 9 am to 9 pm.
Big bosses have been defending this system for years. In 2019, Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma stated that it was a “blessing” for people to work six days a week.
In June, Tencent-owned studio Lightspeed & Quantum, known for developing PUBG Mobile, abandoned this practice. ByteDance recently also formally ended its weekend overtime policy.