Photo Gallery 017: Chinese Entrepreneurs Working Overtime

摘要: Working overtime is quite common in the Chinese Internet industry. Open any social networking app of business professionals, and you will find lots of anonymous articles and posts complaining that some company is a “sweatshop” and that employees are treated as robots. Yet, for entrepreneurs who are buried into their startups so much, there is no such things as “working overtime”.

(Chinese Version)

[Our aim is to record individuals and entrepreneurs in the Internet industry through TMTpost’s new column Photo Gallery: whether young ambitious entrepreneurs who have just found their place in the world of business, star investors who walk through different venues, programmers who spend hours of time writing codes in front of the computer screen, or Internet operators, geeks, even delivery guys…It is their collective efforts and devotion that constitute the Internet world we live in right now, so their moments are worth recording, and remembering.

Photos don’t lie, but they don’ tell the whole truth; photos are free, but they are also full of traps. Therefore, only we present the images we see, and you are free to have your own understanding of these individuals.]

Editor’s Note:

Working overtime is quite common in the Chinese Internet industry.
Open any social networking app of business professionals, and you will find lots of anonymous articles and posts complaining that some company is a “sweatshop” and that employees are treated as robots, not human beings in some company.

However, when I tried to get in touch with authors of these posts, most of them refused to talk about it.


The inconvenient truth is that most people have no choice but to work overtime since they all have to make a living and afford their family. Yet, for entrepreneurs who are buried into their startups so much, there is no such things as “working overtime”. After all, the stake might be too high in their startups or they rely too much on their startups.

If you are also an entrepreneur, we invite you to read through this piece of article and have a taste of this bowl of “chicken soup” (which means to try to learn something out of some general principles and common sense).
From TMTpost Photo Gallery 016, we will start to combine video clips with pictures and words, so that we can better tell the story of not only every individual in the Chinese Internet industry, but also this era of you and me.

1

It’s 00:07 AM, March 5th, 2016, Beijing. Four Taiwanese from DV Basketball Tribe were working overtime in their office based in Legend Town Innovation Park, Chaoyang District, Beijing.

It’s 00:07 AM, March 5th, 2016, Beijing. Four Taiwanese from DV Basketball Tribe were working overtime in their office based in Legend Town Innovation Park, Chaoyang District, Beijing.

Since the end of February, they have been preparing for the offline three-person basketball game. So it’s quite common for them to stay up until early morning, which could be really exhausting sometimes. “This is the first time we hold such activity in mainland China, so to be honest, we are quite nervous, and have to negotiate on a series of details,” Zhou Chengyan, the founder of DV Basketball Tribe said.

Since the end of February, they have been preparing for the offline three-person basketball game. So it’s quite common for them to stay up until early morning, which could be really exhausting sometimes. “This is the first time we hold such activity in mainland China, so to be honest, we are quite nervous, and have to negotiate on a series of details,” Zhou Chengyan, the founder of DV Basketball Tribe said.

They are very good friends, so they live together, work together, work overtime together and laugh at same jokes together.

They are very good friends, so they live together, work together, work overtime together and laugh at same jokes together.

It’s 1:10 am. After finishing estimating the cost of the offline three-person basketball game, they walked out of the office, relieved. Their home is 10-minute’s walk, just across their office. They wondered if they should have some dinner, but soon gave up the thought since they were all too tired.

It’s already 1:10 am. After finishing estimating the cost of the offline three-person basketball game, they walked out of the office, relieved. Their home is 10-minute’s walk, just across their office. They wondered if they should have some midnight snack, but soon gave up the thought since they were all too tired.

2

It’s 21:48 PM, March, 2nd, Beijing. Wang Baocheng (the guy in the middle of the above picture) was still discussing with his colleagues in the office of his Innovation Incubator—EntrepreneurAid, an online design tool whose targets are mainly unprofessional users. For over three months, they’ve been busy improving the details and preparing for A-round financing.

It’s 21:48 PM, March, 2nd, Beijing. Wang Baochen (the guy in the middle of the above picture) was still discussing with his colleagues in the office of his startup—ChuangKit, an online design tool whose targets are mainly unprofessional users. For over three months, they’ve been busy improving the details and preparing for A-round financing.

Wang Baocheng, born in 1993, is the founder of EntrepreneurAid. All the 14 members of his team are born in the 90s. “All the members are shareholders of our company. We have no choice but to try our best and only then can we manage to succeed,” Mr. Wang explained. It’s quite common for him to get off work at 23:00 o’clock these days. “I am in a better mood in the office, and I can brainstorm as crazy as I could out there,” he said.

Wang Baocheng, born in 1993, is the founder of ChuangKit. All the 14 members of his team are born in the 90s. “All the members are shareholders of our company. We have no choice but to try our best and only then can we manage to succeed,” Mr. Wang explained. It’s quite common for him to get off work at 23:00 o’clock these days. “I am in a better mood in the office, and I can brainstorm as crazy as I could out there,” he said.

His house is three kilometer away, so he would take Uber or have a ride with his colleagues to get home.

His house is three kilometer away, so he would take Uber or have a ride with his colleagues to get home.

3

It’s 23:44 PM, March, 3rd, Beijing. Wu Xiangdong, the co-founder of SanMonkey Technology, was still busy preparing for necessary APP patent papers to be submitted to App Stores.

It’s 23:44 PM, March, 3rd, Beijing. Wu Xiangdong, the co-founder of SanMonkey Technology, was still busy preparing for necessary APP patent materials to be submitted to App Stores.

Since his team changes a lot, working overtime is quite common recently. To refresh themselves, they prepared RedBull and face cleanser.

Since his team changes a lot, working overtime is quite common recently. To refresh themselves, they prepared RedBull and face cleanser.

In another office, Zhong Jie, another co-founder, was also buried in his work. He took great efforts to recruit new members for their startup. “Most people are satisfied with doing their fair share of job, while only few people are willing to do as much things as an entrepreneur should. We have to be very careful in recruiting new members, since we’ve got to miss a lot if one employee chose to leave,” he explained. It is his deepest wish that he could find someone who are willing to work together with them and feel a sense of achievement through setting the same goal and pursuing it.

Before leaving the office, Mr. Wu and Mr. Zhong had a swift discussion over recruiting.

Before leaving the office, Mr. Wu and Mr. Zhong had a swift discussion over recruiting.

At 01:08 AM, March 4th, they finished all their work and went back home.

At 01:08 AM, March 4th, they finished all their work and went back home.

4

It’s 21:00 PM, March, 4th, Shijing Mountain Entrepreneur Community, Beijing. Jian Shaonian (the guy in the right of the above picture), and his partner Mike were playing desk football to relax after finishing their job.

It’s 21:00 PM, March, 4th, Shijing Mountain Entrepreneur Community, Beijing. Jian Shaonian (the guy in the right of the above picture), and his partner Mike were playing desk football to relax after finishing their job.

It amazed everyone when Mr. Jian took his wife and a two-month kid from Taiwan to Beijing to work on a startup project at the end of 2015. For him, there is more opportunities in Beijing, so he dared to bet the future of himself as well as his family. His team was developing an entertainment product and has already received Angel Capital. “Our product will be released at the end of March, my baby is already 5 months old, while my wife is still looking for jobs,” he said.

It amazed everyone when Mr. Jian took his wife and a two-month kid from Taiwan to Beijing to work on a startup project at the end of 2015. For him, there is more opportunities in Beijing, so he dared to bet the future of himself as well as his family. His team was developing an entertainment product and they have already received Angel Capital. “Our product will be released at the end of March, my baby is already 5 months old, while my wife is still looking for jobs,” he said.

5

It’s March, 3rd, Qixue Edu’s office located in Xinke Xiangyuan, Zhongguan Village, Beijing. After sending off a few kids who studied Olympic Math at night, Zhou Ling continued to work in the classroom. She’s a math teacher at first, and started to operate this cram school since 2011. It is known that competition can be really fierce in Beijing to graduate from primary schools and get into middle high school. There isn’t a single day when Ms. Zhou get off work after 24:00 PM. After class, he has to write textbook, pay close attention to the situation of every kid and get in touch with their parents in time. Parents are typically of higher education here and having higher standards for their kids.

It’s March, 3rd, Huiqixue Education’s office located in Xinke Xiangyuan, Zhongguan Village, Beijing. After sending off a few kids who studied Olympic Math at night, Zhou Ling continued to work in the classroom. She’s a math teacher at first, and started to operate this cram school since 2011. It is known that competition can be really fierce in Beijing to graduate from primary schools and get into middle high school. There isn’t a single day when Ms. Zhou could get off work before 24:00 PM for these years. After class, he has to write textbook, pay close attention to the situation of every kid and get in touch with their parents in time. Parents are typically of higher education here and having higher standards for their kids.

Ms. Zhou has to compile different textbooks for kids of different schools. “The competition is so fierce here that both kids and their parents can be really tired sometimes, Some mothers even quitted their jobs to raise their kids,” she explained. Many parents would even accompany their kids after getting off work, take notes carefully so that they could tutor them at home. “That’s how every other parent do here,” said she.

Ms. Zhou has to compile different textbooks for kids of different schools. “The competition is so fierce here that both kids and their parents can be really tired sometimes, Some mothers even quitted their jobs to raise their kids,” she explained. Many parents would even accompany their kids after getting off work, take notes carefully so that they could tutor them at home. “That’s how every other parent do here,” said she.

It’s 22:09, PM. Her daughter called and asked when she would come back home. For so many years, she raised her daughter alone. She decided to open a cram school so that she could better raise her daughter. Now that her daughter has already graduated and started to work, she didn’t have to worry about her daughter that much, so she can concentrate more on his work. “I devote to my work properly, so that parents of my kids also believe me,” she explained.

It’s 22:09, PM. Her daughter called and asked when she would come back home. For so many years, she raised her daughter alone. She decided to open a cram school so that she could better raise her daughter. Now that her daughter has already graduated and started to work, she didn’t have to worry about her daughter that much, so she can concentrate more on his work. “I devote to my work properly, so that parents of my kids also believe me,” she explained.

TMTpost Photo Gallery

Special column of TMTpost
Aiming to record individuals and entrepreneurs in the Internet industry
Photos don’t lie, but they don’ tell the whole truth
Photos are free, but also full of traps
This is an Internet age, and we want you to discover stories with us online

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[The article is published and edited with authorization from the author @fliesslaughterhouse, please note source and hyperlink when reproduce.]

Translated by Levin Feng (Senior Translator at PAGE TO PAGE), working for TMTpost.

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