Five firms accepted the request –Alibaba, ride-hailing giant Didi, search engine Sogou, streaming website iQiyi (a subsidiary of Baidu), and internet games firm NetEase. In parent company of Weibo Sina, and Bytedance, parent of the TikTok mini-video app, they had been not able to get past security. Hunt giant Baidu and tencent, refused the attempt to submit the petition.

Lately, users have stated national browsers, such as Qihoo’s 360 browser, Alibaba’s UC browser and Tencent’s QQ browser, have limited access to the 996. ICU repository, telling users that the site includes information that is illegal or malicious.
“Developers who wanted life and work balance needed to work overtime to block the website,” joked a Chinese developer surnamed Pan.
For decades China’s white-collar tech employees were ready to put in any number of working hours — and are some of the very privileged in the country. Now, as the economy slows and tech giants announce layoffs, pent up anger within working hours is bubbling over.
Given the destiny of recent activism over mill workers’ rights, the project has been careful to distance itself from politics–and put the focus on law.
ICU list, said in an internal email it would weed out workers who weren’t “fighting challenging ” regardless of their personal conditions. We’re getting back to those roots as we search, develop and reward staff who share the exact same appetite and worth,” a JD representative told Quartz yesterday (April 8).

The protest within work hours is that the 996. ICU project started on the GitHub code-sharing community of Microsoft in the end of March. In days, the effort to catalog businesses who demand a 996 program –9 am to 9 pm, six days per week–became the site’s most book-marked or “starred” job, racking up more than 190,000 stars.

“This isn’t a political movement. We firmly uphold ask employers and labor law to respect their employees’ rights and interests,” states the 996. ICU page.

More than 90 projects on GitHub have adopted the”anti-996″ license template, which has been drafted by Katt Gu, a lawyer focused on innovative technologies who functions with Shanghai-based digital solitude start-up Dimension, and Suji Yan, the startup’s CEO. (Gu and Yan say they were not involved at the creation of this 996. ICU job itself.) The permit requires companies who wishes to use software to complying with labor laws and International Labour Organization standards, to devote.

Work 996, wind up at the ICU engineers prefer to joke.

Many tech companies have sent the message that they want from their employees at the moment. In a January WeChat post, the creator of e-commerce company Youzan called on workers to embrace 996 civilization . “Should you are feeling no pressure working in a business, you should depart, for your company is perishing,” said Zhu Ning, writing under a pen name.

The 996 work program is inhumane. https://t.co/ajXt3YKRAc

The page has been widely shared in China–on messaging app WeChat, the microblog Weibo, and also the Quora-like Zhihu site (link in Chinese), as well as on professional networking sites. Anonymous employees from almost 90 businesses have posted about how far they work in the name of”flexible working hours” Tech majors like Tencent’s titles, parent of this WeChat app that was ubiquitous, along with e-commerce giant Alibaba, appeared on the list. The companies didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

“The overwork culture is rooted in China’s tech industry. I worked 996 . Throughout that time, I had serious insomnia because of the high pressure. So, I quit,” said GitHub member Zhang, a former software programmer who put a star on the job to demonstrate his support.
Media reports deaths of young tech employees from heart attacks also have increased concern about the deep-seated culture of overwork, though it’s uncertain if they were associated with work stress.
But it’s unclear how much technology firms will or can react, particularly as they confront a challenging economic climate (paywall).
There are a few signals the government is listening–in that a Weibo post (join in Chinese) on Friday (April 5), state-run newspaper People’s Daily urged government to review working hours in the industry:”The validity of this 996 work system is obviously questionable, and it’s almost impossible for people to say’no,’ for this mechanism.”
“Many individuals aren’t courageous enough to use their own strength to struggle with the entire firm. But should they have a permit as a backup, it will be much simpler,” Gu informed Quartz. It is unclear right now how developers would track or restrict use of their software that don’t respect the permit conditions.