China’s Bilibili to hire more staff after employee death fuels overtime debate

(Reuters) – China-based Bilibili Inc said on Tuesday evening it would hire 1,000 new content moderators and monitor the health of its employees more closely, after the death of an employee sparked accusations it was overworking its staff.

The Alibaba Group-backed company, one of China’s biggest video platforms, came under public scrutiny last week after a user on microblogging platform Weibo said the employee was died after working long hours during the Spring Festival holiday, an allegation that has gone viral on social media. .

Local media reported that Bilibili had in an internal letter Monday said his death was not caused by overtime.

On Tuesday, the company released a public statement in which it released details of the case, stating that the employee had worked an eight-hour day during the vacation. But she added that the strong reactions and feedback from her users had prompted her to reflect on the situation.

“The death of such an excellent employee as ‘Twilight Wooden Heart’ is not only a huge loss for the company, but also sounded a warning to us,” he said on his official Weibo account, using a nickname. for the staff member. “We should take more proactive steps to ensure the health of our content moderators to prevent similar tragedies from happening again.”

The increased staffing of the company’s content moderation team will reduce work pressure, he said, adding that he would also conduct more health checks for his content security teams.

Long working hours have been a hot topic for Chinese tech workers and others in its young white-collar class in recent years, and several tech giants have come under pressure for their work culture, especially because of the “996” practice of having staff work 9am to 9pm six days a week.

Tuesday’s statement from Bilibili was among the top trending topics on Weibo Wednesday, where it received a mixed reaction from users. Some have called for further investigation.

“I really oppose the competitive work culture of 996 and forced overtime…so you have to get to the bottom of it!” writes SixsixSixLove.

(Reporting by Eduardo Baptista; Editing by Brenda Goh and Gerry Doyle)

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