One of Beijing’s top courts has condemned the working practises of China’s Big Tech leaders Alibaba, JD.com and Pinduoduo.
The court aims to get rid of the “996” working culture which refers to the working conditions and rights of Big Tech employees.
China’s Supreme People’s Court and the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security issued a joint overview of model cases on how courts should treat labour disputes while warning companies of the possible sanctions involved from violating laws, on Friday.
The Chinese government’s closer look into labour rights has come as a result of years of Big Tech companies enforcing the “996” labour system which forces employees to work from 9am to 9pm, six days a week.
Chinese Big Tech has been previously targeted by an anti-996 campaign group Alibaba, JD.com, Pinduoduo and TikTok owner ByteDance after complaints of terrible working conditions and and deaths relating to overwork.
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The news comes as the latest update in ongoing government crackdown on Chinese tech companies, which Alibaba has received the lion’s share of the sanctions.
The clampdown first started after Alibaba’s Jack Ma criticised Beijing’s regulatory system and culminated in the suspension of Ma’s planned $37 billion IPO of fintech company Ant Group.
The suspension of the IPO was then followed by a record antitrust fine of $2.8 billion for Alibaba, an investigation into ride-hailing company Didi and devastating restrictions on the private tutoring industry and wealth distribution.
According to Chinese consumer analyst Ernan Cui, the government’s squeeze on Big Tech is part of a longer-term plan to pursue “common prosperity” by combating inequality and social division by president Xi Jinping.
“[The crackdown] is not going to be a one-off campaign that relaxes after a few months,” Cui wrote.
“Rather, a new regulatory environment is being created, one that will impose more limits on internet firms’ growth and profitability, and increase state control.”