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JD founder calls workers 'slackers' as layoffs continue at the e-commerce giant


By Danielle Long, Acting APAC Editor

April 17, 2019 | 3 min read’s founder Richard Liu has criticised the increasing numbers of “slackers” working in China’s tech industry, in the midst of widespread layoffs at his e-commerce company.

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JD boss calls tech workers "slackers" as company layoffs continue

Liu’s comments were posted on his personal WeChat account and widely reported by Chinese media.

Liu wrote: "JD in the last four, five years has not made any eliminations, so the number of staff has expanded rapidly, the number of people giving orders has grown and grown, while the those who are working have fallen. Instead, the number of slackers has rapidly grown!"

"If this carries on, JD will have no hope! And the company will only be heartlessly kicked out of the market! Slackers are not my brothers!" he wrote.

The comments follow a debate in China about the culture of overtime in the tech industry – known as 996 for working 9am to 9pm six days a week - as the market slows down after years of growth.

The debate was further stirred up by Liu’s e-commerce rival and Alibaba founder Jack Ma who recently said overtime is a “huge blessing” and employees should take more advantage of it.

However, Liu’s comments also come in the midst of mass layoffs at after the company announced it would retrench around 10% of its top management in China, earlier this year.

The cuts have reportedly “become more extensive in recent weeks”, according to Reuters.

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