BUSINESS Tencent-owned gaming studio's newly unveiled anti-overtime work policy sparks discussion online

BUSINESS

Tencent-owned gaming studio's newly unveiled anti-overtime work policy sparks discussion online

Global Times

22:04, June 12, 2021

Tencent Games exhibition zone at China International Fair for Trade in Service in Beijing on September 9th, 2020. (Photo: VCG)

A new working hour policy by a gaming studio under Chinese tech company Tencent, which stipulated that employees should not work overtime, has generated a buzz on China's social media platforms.

While some Chinese netizens endorse such a policy change as bucking China's "996" hectic working culture, others remain skeptical on whether it is just another form of "formalism" that forces employees to work overtime in places other than the office.

Lightspeed & Quantum Studios Group of Tencent Game, which develops popular game series including PUBG Mobile, announced that starting from Monday, workers are required to leave the working place no later than 9 pm, and employees should go off work at 6 pm every Wednesday, the company's "Health Day."

In addition, the studio will ensure employees not to work on weekends and holidays. And if employees have to work extra hours due to special circumstances, they need to apply in advance to their leaders and give an explanation.

The new policy is titled "work happy, live a healthy life." The company said that it aims to encourage employees to strike a balance between work and leisure, improve work efficiency, focus more on health and have more time for family.

The new scheme, which comes amid growing concerns over China's 996 working culture - working from 9 am to 9 pm, six days a week— in the technology industry, has sparked widespread discussion on China's social media platforms such as Weibo and working social media such as Mai Mai.

"Based on my calculation, employees at the studio only need to work about 40 hours a week, which is significantly less than most companies in Shenzhen," a Chinese netizen Amon said in a post on Weibo. Others also hope the new policy could play a significant role in reshaping the technology industry's stressful working culture.

Meanwhile, a number of Chinese netizens are more concerned on how the gaming studio will effectively carry out the policy. "Is it a good thing to leave work place before 9 pm? Maybe you need to work from home after 9 pm," a netizen complained.

Some also pointed out that the new policy is merely complying with relevant Chinese labor laws. "How can a normal work policy become an abnormal situation?" a Weibo netizen named Benpao asked.

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