Pinduoduo, a quickly rising Chinese e-commerce firm, is weathering its PR storm after the demise of an worker sparked criticism towards the agency’s grueling working hours.
The worker, 21 years previous, collapsed on her manner dwelling from work on a late evening earlier than New Year. The reason behind her demise has not been disclosed however web customers speculated that she had died from exhaustion.
Posts with the hashtag #PinduoduoEmployeeSuddenDeath have accrued 300 million views on the Chinese microblogging platform Weibo. Separately, one other Pinduoduo worker dedicated suicide on January 9 by leaping from his 27th-floor condo. The native labor authorities are reported to be reviewing working situations at Shanghai-based Pinduoduo.
On Sunday, a former Pinduoduo worker spoke out towards the agency’s anxious work tradition in a video that went viral, including to the general public outcry towards Alibaba’s greatest rival. He alleged that workers at Pinduoduo’s headquarters are required to work no less than 300 hours a month (about 75 hours every week), whereas employees within the newly established grocery supply division have a 380-hour minimal. The worker who fell on her manner dwelling labored on Pinduoduo’s grocery enterprise within the Western province of Xinjiang.
People with information informed TechCrunch that workers engaged on sure tasks at Pinduoduo may work over 300 hours a month, although the hours aren’t necessary. Companywide, employees are required to work from 11 AM to eight PM.
Pinduoduo can’t be instantly be reached for remark.
Long working hours aren’t distinctive to Pinduoduo in China. The string of incidents is reviving the talk round “996”, a time period that denotes workers working from 9 AM to 9 PM, six days every week, although it might probably check with another type of demanding work regime in China’s cutthroat web business.
Despite the general public backlash and calls to boycott Pinduoduo, the corporate’s market place seems to stay agency. Its app downloads have remained secure because the first worker incident two weeks in the past, with some days even seeing slight progress in installs, based on knowledge analytics supplier Jiguang. Its shares, traded in New York, climbed from $144 on December 28 to $187 on January 5 and dropped barely to $174 on January 11. A number of enterprise capital traders of Pinduoduo contacted by TechCrunch declined to remark for this story.
The figures may very well be telling. Despite its efforts to draw extra customers in China’s wealthier cities, a considerable variety of Pinduoduo customers stay in China’s low-tier cities and rural cities. The “996” tradition of the megacity-based tech giants could also be distant for them, whereas the offers on Pinduoduo, the e-commerce app well-known for its “grime low-cost” items, are tangible.