Pindodu, A fast-growing Chinese e-commerce company, is facing its PR storm after the death of an employee.
The 21-year-old employee fell on his way home from work one night before the new year. The cause of his death has not been revealed but internet users speculated that he died of exhaustion.
Posts with hashtags #PinduoduoEmployeeSuddenDeath The Chinese microblogging platform has accumulated 300 million views on Weibo. Separately, another employee of Pindduo committed suicide by jumping from his 27th floor apartment on 9 January. Local labor officers are Reported Reviewing the working conditions at Pindduo, Shanghai.
On Sunday, a former employee of Pinduoduo Spoke against In one video the firm’s tense work culture, which went viral, sparked public outrage against Alibaba’s biggest rival. He alleged that employees at Pindduo’s headquarters have to work at least 300 hours a month (about 75 hours a week), while employees in the newly established grocery distribution department have 380 hours minimum. The employee who fell on his way home worked on the grocery business of Pindduo, the western province of Xinjiang.
People at TechCrunch reported that employees working on certain projects in Pinduoduo can work up to 300 hours a month, although hours are mandatory. Company wise, employees are required to work from 11 am to 8 pm.
Pinduoduo could not immediately be reached for comment.
Long working hours are not unique in China’s Pinddu. The string of events is reviving the debate around “996”, A term that refers to employees working six days a week from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., although it may refer to another form of work regime in China’s jackfruit internet industry.
Despite public backlash and calls to boycott Pindduo, the company’s market position remains stable. According to data analytics provider Ziguang, its app downloads have remained steady since the first employee incident two weeks ago, with a slight increase in installs also seen in a few days. As of 8 January, Pindoduo had approximately 650 million installs.
Its shares traded in New York rose from $ 144 on December 28 to $ 187 on January 5 and fell to $ 174 on January 11. Some of Pindduo’s venture capital investors contacted by TechCrunch declined to comment for this story.
Statistics can show. Despite its efforts to attract more users to China’s wealthy cities, a significant number of Pindduo users live in China’s low-level cities and rural cities. The “996” culture of megacity-based tech giants may be remote for them, while deals on e-commerce app Pindduo, renowned for its “dirt cheap” goods, are tangible.