fredag 15. januar 2021

Pinduoduo under fire as China turns on its tech titans

One of China's most prominent e-commerce companies is facing intense public backlash over allegations that it overworks its employees. It's a sign that scrutiny of the country's tech champions is broadening, and could become even more intense.

Pinduoduo (PDD) — the country's third largest e-commerce firm after Alibaba (BABA) and (JD) — became a target of public outrage after two of its employees unexpectedly died during the holiday season. First, a worker in her twenties collapsed in Urumqi, the capital city of the Xinjiang region, while walking home with colleagues during the early hours of Dec. 29. The company confirmed her death, but did not disclose the cause.

Then, another worker died late last week after jumping from his 27-floor apartment in Changsha, a city in the southern Hunan province. Pinduoduo said the man had earlier asked for time off, without giving a reason, according to a company statement. "We feel profound sadness that we lost one of our employees to suicide," the company said in the statement. "We are doing everything we can to support his family and loved ones during this difficult time."