(Yicai Global) Sept. 8 -- Beijing Wuba Information Technology Co., listed in the US as 58.com Inc. [NYSE:WUBA] and owner of the Chinese online marketplace 58.com, has offered clarification after a media report said its employees are being forced to work overtime from this month.
China National Radio reported staff as saying that since the start of September the company has required employees to work six days a week from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. without subsidies, and that the schedule was referred to as '996.' Wuba Information said the arrangement applies only during its peak business period from September to October, and that it had not asked every employee to work extra hours.
Angry staff protested the lack of compensation, overtime pay, and official notice of the change -- there was just a verbal message. Employees have inundated CEO Yao Jinbo's Weibo account with nearly 1,000 comments since Sept. 1 -- almost all about the new work schedule. Some commentators questioned the legitimacy of the schedule, with some accusing the firm of trying to disguise layoffs.
Set up in 2005, Wuba Information debuted on the Nasdaq in October 2013. According to its quarterly earnings report, 58.com has network platforms in 465 cities across China, and the number of its quarterly active local users has reached 17 million.