I just returned from a two-week long business trip from China. It felt like it has been two months. In a good way.
A lot of activities were jammed in those 14 days. Starting with speaking at SLUSH conference in Shanghai to meeting many China entrepreneurs, the trip was packed with much energy and many late-night meetings (and many high-carb meals!)
It was first formally introduced to the valley community via Sequoia’s Mike Moritz article on China earlier this year. It was controversial and I understand why. China shares a very different work culture than the US, in that it is (still) very top-down driven with a blurred line between work and personal life. For example, it’s no secret that in China, people conduct business conversations over after-work meals and over Wechat. As a result, the business response cycle is much faster. However, as a regular tech worker in China, it’s hard to take a real break.
In addition, on a higher level, China has the so-called 996 (9 am to 9 pm, 6 days a week), which I heard it’s now evolved into 007 (0 am to 0 am, 7 days a week). I think that’s just too much and it compromises productivity. But many companies are doing it.
You can perhaps interpret it from two angles:
Which one is it? Probably China has both. And the next Google, next Uber for China will have to come from the companies who view work from the 2nd angle. Just like how the valley has been over the past decades.