Beijing, April 4 (IANS) In a bid to suppress what may turn into a mass outcry, major Chinese companies like Tencent and Xiaomi are trying to censor a page on software development platform GitHub where workers are protesting against the overtime work culture that is prevalent in China.
The “996.icu” repository on GitHub is where Chinese developers are protesting against the “996” overtime work culture (9 a.m. to 9 p.m., six days a week) in their country.
“A number of Chinese browsers, including Tencent’s QQ Browser, Qihoo’s 360 Browser and the native browser on Xiaomi smartphones, have restricted user access to the ‘996.icu’ repository on GitHub,” Abacus News reported on Wednesday.
The move is being massively criticised on social networking platforms, especially by people who are part of the protest.
While Tencent’s browser prompts users that they are trying to visit a “malicious site” that contains “security risks”, Xiaomi’s browser displays a message “prohibiting” users to visit the page complying to the “national laws and regulations”, the report said.
Users accessing the page using international browsers like Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome are not encountering any issue, meaning that internal Chinese browsers are blocking the page within the country.
The protest on GitHub was started by an anonymous Chinese developer who said workers are risking their health when they follow the “996” schedule, the report added.
As part of the project, developers have compiled a blacklist of companies with heavy hours that comprises mostly foreign companies in China.
This is not the first instance where GitHub is being scrutinised in China.
In 2013, the platform was briefly blocked in China for unspecified reasons and was later unblocked followed by a strong protest from China’s developer community.