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Pinduoduo Long Work Hour Culture Under Fire After Second Worker Death

By Yang Ge / Jan 12, 2021 01:29 PM / Society & Culture

The Pinduoduo logo is seen on a cushion at the company's office in Shanghai

The Pinduoduo logo is seen on a cushion at the company's office in Shanghai

Recent controversy surrounding e-commerce giant Pinduoduo is intensifying, after an employee leapt to his death from his family’s 27th floor apartment in the central city of Changsha.

The controversy centers on the relentless work culture at many Chinese internet companies, where employees are often pressured to follow a “996” schedule that requires work from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. for six days a week. Pinduoduo is just one of many companies with such a culture, but has become a poster child for the abusive policy following two recent worker deaths.

The first occurred in the early hours of Dec. 29 when a 22-year-old female employee working for the company’s grocery business in Western China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region collapsed in the street and died later after getting off work.

That was followed by another death over the weekend, when the worker surnamed Tan died in an act that a doctor later confirmed was a suicide. Tan had requested leave from his job at Pinduoduo in Shanghai last Friday and flew back to Changsha the same day before taking his life.

The first death triggered a firestorm of debate on Chinese social media. Before she died the woman had complained on her own social media account, saying: “The capitalist revolution has truly gobbled up the ordinary people.”

To read the full story, click here.

Related: Pinduoduo Worker’s Death Renews Scrutiny of 996 Work Culture

Contact reporter Yang Ge (geyang@caixin.com)


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