Can we do something for 996 programmers in China?

A week ago or so I was approached by some Chinese programmers complaining about the poor working conditions. Someone created a GitHub repo explaining the problem – “Work by ‘996’, sick in ICU” (meaning a work schedule from 9am till 9pm, 6 days a week). Of course this repo is now blocked by various Chinese browsers.

Once I tweeted about it, my Twitter stream has been full of comments about this issue.

How can we help these people? How can we get the western press and governments to pay attention?


Hi Guido,

I want to say that you are kind to bring topics like this. This is motivating, helping the community, and showing a great example as a leader.

These political problems are very difficult and outside of our scope of direct influence.
Indirectly, we could

a) Make ourselves aware that such kind of exploitation exists, and try to be sympathetic when we hear about this.

b) List the companies that do such such exploitation, and refuse business with them. This is the most effective way of putting pressure.

c) Refuse sponsorship from companies if they want to benefit from the popularity of Python.

The GitHub list has already done a good job to start spreading this awareness.



Maybe you may consider to add something in the Zen of Python.

1 Like

Hi, Chinese developer here. I just want thank you for your kindness.
I don’t have good idea for 996 for now.

1 Like

To be honest, it’s hard.

For now almost all web browsers which are developed by CN company have already blocked the github page of…it’s funny, not GFW, just block via web browser…

I wish more and more open source project can join in the anti 996icu license.


Do nothing is better.
996 is a Chinese problem that can only be solved by the Chinese themselves.


How about blocking 996 companies using Python in the license?

Dear Guido,
Thanks for your attention on this issue in China.
I don’t know what specific things could be done while to bring this on the table is a good beginning.

Thanks, from China.
BR, Wey

1 Like

Thanks Guido, I think 996 problem needs more attention worldwide.

1 Like

What if these 996 programmers got generous profits? Well, someone just need money.By the way I hate non-paid 996 working

It’s not just the IT industry. Many industries are 996. This is a very common phenomenon.

1 Like

Is there any way that python can adopt the anti 996icu license? That will help a lot I think.

God, plz close this thread. Plz use other methods to discuss whatever you wanna discuss. Don’t correlate Python with this plzzzzz.

1 Like

it’s so kind of your to pay attention of this thing !
but ,sadly as a dev from China the only thing i can do is not join those 996 companies

Thanks very very much,Guido.
You are so kind.

One thing I want emphasize is that our government is too powerful that organizing a actual labour union is nearly impossible. ( I don’t mean to subvert regime, but the status quo did make us feel exhausted and comfortless.)
The possibility is near zero to count on giant change from the inside.As you can see, our domestic public opinion is strictly controlled, maybe only 3% people had known about the 996 event (personally estimation).Honestly, it is still very hard to change lot even with external power.

However, there is better than nothing.Thank you hearty guys, sincerely.

From an undergraduate student, future programmer

1 Like

Hi, I don’t think it’s a good idea.
tech should be independent.

1 Like

It’s disgusting all big Chinese big companies use implicitly mandatory 996 to force employees to work overtime and this cause many cases of employees’ sudden death. This kind of cases only happen in Chinese companies like Tencent and HuaWei. Ironically Tencent tells its employees their partner will be compensated if they are dead due to working overtime!

I strongly disagree. No one can be totally independent.

To say the least, as long as the state permits itself to interfere with the affairs of literature, literature has the right to interfere with the affairs of the state.

From Joseph Brodsky - Nobel Lecture:


I think the rule that the 996 companies should pay more if they’re using Python based framework may helps.

If you really want to do something. Please hire them! :slightly_smiling_face: I was joking…

This is apparently a political issue of China, and Python Community is better to be non-political.

We should show understanding for them, but we can’t change the fact.

If we are going to apply the 996 license for Python, then China’s companies could simply create a fork from the last non-996-licensed version and maintain that by themselves. Then, the offical Python disappears in China.

Another fact is that, even if those companies don’t follow the license, we actually could do nothing :upside_down_face: China is like an separate world, and they don’t care the rules in open source communities.