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Bilibili, known as the YouTube of China, said it would hire more content review staff after the death of a young employee who worked during the Lunar New Year holiday. Photo: Bloomberg

Chinese video site Bilibili vows to hire 1,000 more content reviewers after death of young employee who worked during holiday

  • Bilibili promised to expand its content review team after a 25-year-old worker died last week
  • The company said the deceased employee worked regular hours during the Lunar New Year holiday
Chinese video-sharing platform operator Bilibili said it would hire more staff to shoulder the workload of its content auditing team, after denying earlier that the sudden death of a young employee was caused by working overtime.

The statement followed widespread online speculation in China over the cause of death of the 25-year-old worker in Wuhan, capital of China’s central Hubei province, who died on Friday from a cerebral haemorrhage, according to Bilibili.

How Bilibili, China’s YouTube, makes money

The New York- and Hong Kong-listed company confirmed on Tuesday that the employee was working during last week’s Lunar New Year holiday.

“Given the special, round-the-clock nature of the content security review work he was engaged in, it could not be stopped during the Spring Festival holiday,” Bilibili said in the statement. “Like other public services, the work has to be done by shifts.”

The Shanghai-based company said that the employee, who was the acting team leader of the photo and text review department, arranged for his team members to work eight hours a day for five days, followed by two days off. Employees on the holiday shift would be paid three times their normal salaries in accordance with the law.


While Bilibili told employees in an internal letter seen by the South China Morning Post on Monday that the worker’s death was unrelated to excessive work hours, the firm said on Tuesday that it planned to hire 1,000 more people this year to expand the content auditing team to “reduce work pressure”.

The company also said it would pay more attention to the health of its content review staff. “Aside from the company’s regular physical checks, starting this month, we will arrange more thorough physical checks for all staff from the content security centre.”

The family of the deceased employee could not be reached by the Post for comment.

Why 996 prevails in China’s tech world despite deaths and protests

While the incident has rekindled debate over the unhealthy work schedule in China’s tech sector known as 996 – 12 hours a day, six days a week – state media has largely stayed quiet.

Last August, China’s top court and labour ministry warned employers about violations of the country’s labour laws, which was seen as a step by the government towards taking a firmer stance against technology companies over their treatment of workers.