Sudden death of pinduoduo’s 22-year-old female employee: Internet companies fall into the strange circle of “overtime culture”?


Author / Tao Li intern Kong Zesi
Editor / Liu Xueying Li Qingyu
The prevalence of overtime culture has become a “cancer” of the Internet industry.
“Either at work or on the way to work.” I don’t know when overtime has been with the Internet.
On the evening of January 3, a news about “the sudden death of pinduoduo employees” caused heated discussion on social platforms. It is said that pinduoduo, a 23-year-old member of Duoduo’s shopping team, died suddenly on his way to work at 1 a.m. During the continuous fermentation of rumors, pinduoduo responded to 21 caiwenhui at 4 p.m. on December 4, saying that Zhang, who was born in 1998 at 1:30 a.m. Beijing time on December 29, suddenly covered her stomach and fainted on the way home with her colleagues. My colleague immediately called 120 and sent him to Urumqi local hospital. After nearly six hours of emergency treatment, he still failed and died.
On the 4th, a reporter from Beijing Youth Daily learned from the labor and Social Security Supervision Brigade of Changning District, Shanghai that after receiving the Internet public opinion, the labor and social security supervision department has investigated the employment situation of pinduoduo company, and will check the company’s employment contract, employment time, etc.
All along, the “overtime” culture of Internet companies has become the norm. A number of people in the industry disclosed to 21 caiwenhui that they had received offers from pinduoduo, but they were asked to work on Sunday, and eventually gave up the opportunity. “Some technical jobs are arranged in two shifts, one from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and the other from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.”
Soon, a number of related hot search words appeared on the microblog hot search list, reading 840 million. It fully shows that the high-intensity labor of the Internet industry has attracted the attention of the whole society.
Either work overtime or leave
In a public statement, pinduoduo said that his company’s colleagues have been accompanying his family members. Zhang was cremated on January 3 according to his parents’ wishes, and the company did not make an announcement. With the consent of Zhang’s parents, a screenshot of his father’s circle of friends is attached. I also urge you to pay attention to Zhang’s friends and the public. Don’t believe all kinds of screenshots and so-called “pinduoduo response”. It is reported that Zhang’s business department buys vegetables for Duoduo.
“It’s almost one or two o’clock in the morning now, and there are others who are later than me. In principle, it’s a 12 hour working system. What time do you leave work the day before, and what time do you go to work the next day. However, looking at the poor performance, there has been no growth, and other people around have not gone, so I am embarrassed to get off work. ” Buy more vegetables, an insider told century business report, from October 3 to now, a total of three days off.
In the IT industry, not working overtime seems to have become abnormal behavior. “Since my boyfriend joined pinduoduo, he had only one day off on Sunday, but he often had to go to work to deal with his work, and even was busy with the company at 12 o’clock. Their leaders sometimes talk more about work at 1:00 in the morning. If they don’t have a good chat, they have to talk about planning on the phone at 3:00 in the morning. ” Yuki from Shanghai said that Internet companies have formed an atmosphere of working overtime. Under the high pressure of work, boyfriends have already become ex boyfriends.
According to the analysis of several Internet company employees, most Internet companies do not need to punch in to work like traditional industries, but the workload and demand are there before they can go. Another reason for working overtime is that people are habitually late, sometimes they will miss the time when they need to discuss. The main reason is that it is related to the fast changing pace of the Internet industry.
Man hour management is a dead letter
Just last month, the news of the sudden death of employees of two well-known companies also attracted wide attention on social media. On December 3, a 27 year old employee of Gome Fuzhou branch died suddenly during the year-end oath meeting. On December 9, a 47 year old employee of Shangtang Technology Shanghai company died suddenly outside the company’s gym.
Mr. Tang responded positively to this, saying that he was fully responsible for the company’s family and family arrangements. Gome Fuzhou branch also said it was negotiating with the family members of the deceased.
Is the frequent sudden death of employees in technology companies related to long-time and high-intensity work? Legal circles believe that strictly speaking, “karoshi” is not a legal concept, nor a medical concept. We often say “karoshi”. In medical death identification, the cause of death is usually written as sudden death, so it is difficult to prove the relationship between the cause of death and the cause of work.
In addition, to judge whether the industrial accident happened in the process of performing work duties, we need to judge the three elements of industrial accidents: working hours, workplace and work reasons. According to Article 14 of the regulations on industrial injury insurance (revised in 2010), employees are injured by accidents due to work reasons during working hours and workplaces; employees are injured by accidents when they are engaged in preparatory or concluding work related to work in workplaces before and after working hours; employees are injured or their whereabouts are unknown due to work reasons when they go out from work; employees are injured during commuting On the way, those who are injured by traffic accidents that are not their main responsibility or urban rail transit, passenger ferry or train accidents; other situations that should be recognized as work-related injuries according to laws and administrative regulations should be recognized as work-related injuries. And Article 15 If an employee dies of sudden illness during working hours or post or dies of invalid rescue within 48 hours, it shall be deemed as an industrial injury.
According to relevant people in the legal field, at present, it is not qualified to include “karoshi” into the scope of work-related injury. The competition in the domestic Internet industry is very fierce, the products and services are upgraded rapidly, and the pressure of performance growth is great. Many enterprises are still in the entrepreneurial stage, including Alibaba, Tencent, Huawei and other giants. The enterprise management and technology foundation are immature, and they still maintain a sense of crisis. In some giant companies, they even force the implementation of “996” and other overtime culture. It can be seen that this is a phenomenon of poor development. Internet enterprises have not yet entered the stage of technology competition and are still relying on the sea of people tactics.
The laborer is not just the reed that can work

From the brief explanation of “sudden death of employees” in Duoduo’s vegetable shopping business, people can see that in addition to the competition among Internet companies behind the vegetable shopping business, it has once again caused a heated discussion on the working hours of Internet practitioners. Whether it’s the “996” working system that detonated the Internet, or the sudden death of couriers who worked overtime for several days under the “e-commerce Carnival” on October 1, or the death of Internet IT employees who worked overtime for many days
At present, it has become an important tendency for the Internet industry to excessively pursue work efficiency and take material as the standard to measure success. Under the fast-paced work and life style, fully protecting the rest rights and interests of workers has become an inevitable requirement to eliminate the state of “sick to work”. According to the labor law of our country, the daily working hours of workers are not more than 8 hours, and the average working hours per week are not more than 44 hours. The purpose of the establishment of the right to rest is to protect the health of workers, so that workers have leisure time to participate in social activities, update the knowledge structure, and create greater social wealth. We emphasize that the protection of the right to rest is based on the personal interests of workers, the development of their personal dignity as the main line, and the justice and efficiency of the whole society.
However, the reality shows that the average working hours of the labor force in the Internet industry are higher than the “average working hours per week are no more than 44 hours” in the labor law. The result is the dual loss of the physical and mental aspects of workers, which may not only cause serious consequences such as sudden death, but also to a certain extent, erode or reduce the social development and the happiness experience of workers.
The establishment and protection of the right to rest makes it unnecessary for workers to exchange freedom for survival, and makes human dignity get due respect. The pursuit of freedom value is not the only value pursuit of the right to rest. The right to rest has the same value pursuit of fairness, which is mainly reflected in the game between the strong capital and the weak workers. The state intervenes for fairness and justice, and establishes the right to rest system.
In order to protect the right to rest of workers, we should let rational and peaceful mentality achieve healthy and sound personality. At present, under the background of the increasing downward pressure of the global economy, the work competition pressure of Chinese workers is increasing. Many white-collar workers and wage earners regard material as the only standard to measure success. They pay too much attention to material and ignore spirit. As a result, they are tired of material and struggle for houses and cars all their lives. They gradually lose themselves in the endless running and forget that they should wait for their soul.
Appendix 1: Notes on the accidental death of pinduoduo colleague Zhang * Fei
Zhang * Fei, female, born in 1998, is the same age as Hua’er. He will be employed in July 2019. At 1:30 a.m. on December 29, Beijing time, I was walking home with my colleagues when I covered my stomach and fainted. My colleague immediately called 120 and sent him to Urumqi local hospital. After nearly six hours of emergency treatment, he still failed and died.
Company colleagues have been accompanying their families, according to the wishes of their parents, Zhang * Fei cremated on January 3, the company does not issue an announcement. With the consent of Zhang’s parents, a screenshot of his father’s circle of friends is attached. I also urge you to pay attention to Zhang’s friends and the public. Don’t believe in all kinds of online screenshots and the so-called “pinduoduo response”.
Zhang * Fei’s internal account before his death said “defend the frontier for more”. Every time we think about this, our hearts are like a knife
Zhang * Fei, we love you and miss you deeply.
Appendix 2: screenshot of Zhang * Fei’s father’s circle of friends
Appendix 3: the “official response of pinduoduo” in the screenshot on the morning of January 4 is not true
Before the announcement, pinduoduo said that it had never issued an “official response” to the online screenshot and firmly opposed the views on the screenshot.