Skip to content
Subscriber Only

China Spells Out How Excessive ‘996’ Work Culture is Illegal

  • Supreme Court published 10 real cases to make its point
  • Beijing is trying to rein in excesses at its largest firms
Video player cover image

Oct. 2019: What Is 996?

Updated on

China has issued its most comprehensive warning yet against the excessive-work culture that pervades the country’s largest corporations, using real and richly detailed court disputes to address a growing backlash against the punishing demands of the private sector. 

The Supreme People’s Court and Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security published a lengthy essay Friday about labor violations and unreasonable overtime, labeled ‘996’ because of the common practice of working 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., six days a week. It outlined 10 cases -- including but not limited to the tech industry -- in which employees were forced to work extra hours, or put in harm’s way.