715 is the new 996 work schedule in China

“715 working culture” has been included in Baidu’s “2020 knowledge-based buzzwords” which were released today. Other words to feature on the list include Career PUA, COVID-19 and Nucleic acid test.

“715” is working 15 hours per day, seven days a week and became widely discussed in September when Jia Guolong 贾国龙, the CEO of a popular Chinese restaurant chain Xibei, encouraged employees to work these long hours. In the post on Weibo, he suggested that employers should work from 9:30am to 12:30am. Jia bragged that he was proud of his employers working the 715 working schedule because “if you work longer, you will get more money and a sense of achievement from your work”.

The post sparked a heated discussion on social media and the CEO received harsh criticism from netizens. Many commented that working 15 hours per day is illegal and violates China’s labour law. However, the CEO replied that he just encourages his employees to work the 715 hours but it’s not compulsory.

This response encouraged some netizens to investigate how much Xibei’s employees get paid every month. According to PengPai, a news outlet in China, Xibei offers an average monthly wage of 5000-7500 RMB (£569-853) to its staff, which is significantly lower than the average monthly wage of students graduating in 2020 (7839 RMB). The company was widely criticised by netizens who agreed that the company shouldn’t treat their employees in such a way.

China has a longstanding culture of overtime work and the “996” work schedule (working from 9am until 9pm six days per week) has been popularised by tech companies in recent years.

Read more about China’s working culture:


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