Chinese workers log an average of 2,000-2,200 working hours each year – far higher than their counterparts in the United States (1,790 hours per year), the Netherlands (1,419), Germany (1,371) and even Japan (1,719), according to OECD statistics.
Karoshi, the Japanese term for ‘death caused by overwork’, is now a reality in China, and that labour laws aren’t adequately protecting workers’ rights.
For many tech start-ups in China, their business models are not based on a unique idea, but one derived from somewhere else, either another start-up in China or one in the US. This leaves them only two ways to compete—on cost and speed. “And when you’re competing on low cost and speed, there’s really only one culture to be successful, and that’s a 24-7, 365 (day) culture.”