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China’s ‘966’ Tech Tribe Numbers Dwindle

Putting in a lot of hours in the technology sector was something many people were proud of, which also led to the formation of the 996 tech tribe in China. However, it seems like the vogue is finally dwindling off as people who were a part of it are resorting to a freer and stress less way of life.

It all started in April when the employees working in tech protested through the online portal against overtime which sometimes went off the charts. It received quite a pushback as well, especially from reputed magnates of the industry, like Alibaba which is headed by Jack Ma. This protest is in contrast to the previous mindset of China which was known for putting in extraordinary work hours in different industries which were hailed by many in the West as one of the main reason why China was growing so fast economically.

The tech industry has been affected the most by the recent outflux of employees. According to statistics by Maimai, a job hunting survey site, this industry had more people quitting their job and leaving than people joining it in the last 6 months. This could actually be bad news for a lot of companies who are heavily reliant on the professionals. It looks like the employees are no longer ready to bear the consequences of putting in the long hours. Finding the perfect balance between the input and the output of the employees seem to be the only step forward.

The meaning of the term 996 is that an employee works from 9 am in the morning to 9 pm at night, 6 days a week. Although this work culture has received praises from around the world, including Silicon Valley, the protests around it showed that it was not feasible to sustain for long. The people who quit the tech industry mainly joined startups or businesses of their own or started working somewhere with shorter shifts.