Arnold Ma

China’s central government has tried to fix the country’s toxic work culture, especially banning the “996” — working from 9 am to 9 pm, six days a week. But China expert Arnold Ma does not believe the workers themselves really want this, he tells Jing Daily.

The Jing Daily:

Amid mounting regulatory pressures, Chinese tech companies have been revising their policies. In July, short-video platform Kuaishou formally ended its “big week/small week” arrangement, whereby staff were forced to work an extra day every two weeks. ByteDance, Meituan, and Vivo soon followed suit. Meanwhile, ride-hailing giant Didi recently established a union for its staff after being criticized for not paying its drivers fairly ​​— setting a precedent for fellow tech giants.

But despite these landmark moves, Arnold Ma, founder of Qumin, points out that it “feels like fixing the symptoms rather than the cause.” As he explained, China’s problems with burnout stem deeper than just late nights in the office. “[Chinese youths] are aware of the toxic work culture and long hours but they will still endure it, because they can earn more money to relieve the pressures from other aspects of life such as marriage, housing, raising children, and looking after elderly relatives.”

More in the Jing Daily.

Arnold Ma is a speaker at the China Speakers Bureau. Do you need him at your (online) meeting or conference? Do get in touch or fill in our speakers’ request form.

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