A former employee of the Chinese company Pinduoduo told the state-run Xinhua news agency on Wednesday of the long working hours at the e-commerce company after the recent death of an employee in that country.
“When I was working in Pinduoduo, I started working at 11 a.m. and usually 11 p.m. or 12 p.m., six days a week,” the employee, who gave his last name as Wang, told Xinhua. .
Pinduoduo did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the report. He previously confirmed that an employee collapsed on her way home from work with a colleague on December 29 and later died in hospital. The cause of his death has not been revealed.
Pinduoduo is one of the Chinese Internet giants, an industry under fire from the authorities and facing new rules aimed at containing them.
The labor protection department of the Shanghai district where Pinduoduo is headquartered looks at the company’s working hours and employment contracts, the Beijing Youth Daily reported last week.
“The anti-trust is the big backdrop,” said Liu Wanyong, former editor of China Youth Daily. “The Chinese media are therefore attacking large Internet companies that they believe to be ‘monopolists’ because it is the politically correct thing to do.”
Wang came to the attention of Chinese social media watchers after posting a video in which he described the long working hours and claimed he was fired for posting a photo of a Pinduoduo employee being taken in an ambulance.
The company told Reuters it had fired Wang because he had already made a series of “malicious” comments about Pinduoduo on social media.
The Xinhua report was read 1.29 million times on Wednesday, and topics mentioning Pinduoduo and its corporate culture have been among the most trending on Twitter-like Weibo in China over the past week.
Wang did not respond to a Reuters request for comment.
© Thomson Reuters 2020
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