Pinduoduo worked almost 12-hour shifts every day, says the employee

A former employee of the Chinese company Pinduoduo told the state news agency Xinhua on Wednesday about long hours at the e-commerce company following the recent death of an employee there.

“When I worked at Pinduoduo, I started work at 11 am and usually finished at 11 pm or 12 noon six days a week,” the employee, who gave his last name as Wang, told Xinhua.

Pinduoduo did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the report. It was previously confirmed that a worker collapsed with a colleague on her way home from work on December 29 and later died in the hospital. The cause of death was not disclosed.

Pinduoduo is one of China’s internet giants, a sector that is under attack by the authorities and is facing new rules designed to contain them.

The labor protection department of the Shanghai district where Pinduoduo is headquartered is investigating the company’s working hours and contracts, the Beijing Youth Daily reported last week.

“Antitrust law is the big background,” said Liu Wanyong, former senior editor at China Youth Daily. “So the Chinese media are attacking big internet companies that they think are ‘monopoly’ because that’s politically correct.”

Wang caught the attention of Chinese social media watchers after posting a video describing long hours and saying he was fired for posting a photo of a Pinduoduo worker being carried away in an ambulance .

The company told Reuters it had fired Wang for previously posting a series of “malicious” comments on Pinduoduo on social media.

The Xinhua report was read 1.29 million times on Wednesday, and topics mentioning Pinduoduo and its corporate culture were among the top trends on China’s Twitter-like Weibo over the past week.

Wang did not respond to a Reuters request for comment.

© Thomson Reuters 2020

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