Github repositories are usually used by developers to share, contribute and test code, but the 996.ICU repo and official site are protests against “996” culture—the expectation that employees will work from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., six days a week.
Tech leaders, including Alibaba’s Jack Ma, JD.com’s Richard Liu and Sogou founder Wang Xiaochuan, have all come out in support of the grueling work schedule.
As younger generations enter the labor force, they are no longer willing to trade their personal lives and health for a paycheck.
Industry leaders, government officials and managers need to realign expectations and inefficient management systems to adapt to evolving employee demands for better work-life balance.
As wages rise, Chinese productivity is lagging behind global averages.
The term 996 becomes associated with China’s startup and tech culture, linking “hard work” with China’s broader success.