In late March, the Chinese tech world was rocked by protests from workers against start-ups’ “9-9-6” work culture (the idea that employees should work from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. six days a week). Although the initial wave of interest in a protest page set up on GitHub has subsided somewhat, controversy over tech companies’ employment practices has continued to rumble on in China.

Discussions on the topic have examined it from an array of angles, from its legal and ethical status, to the mentality and reality of “working hard to gain a better life”. In this Wǒ Men Podcast episode, we take a different approach to discussing 9-9-6 by inviting Cynthia He, a senior executive of a number of US-listed technology companies, to look at the underlying societal rationale behind this working culture.

Listen below on Mixcloud, or find Wǒ Men on iTunes here.

The Wǒ Men Podcast is a discussion of life in China hosted by Yajun Zhang and Jingjing Zhang. Previous episodes of the Wǒ Men Podcast can be found here, and you can subscribe to Wǒ Men on iTunes here.

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