Wǒ Men Podcast: How Chinese Society Has Given Rise to 996 Work Culture

Cynthia He joins the Wo Men Podcast team to look at the underlying societal rationale behind China's 996 work culture

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9:54 PM HKT, Fri May 17, 2019

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.

In late March, the Chinese tech world was rocked by protests from workers against startups’ “996” work culture (the idea that employees should work from 9am-9pm 6 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 996 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.

cynthia he wo men podcast 996

Cynthia He

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