#164 Wolf culture in Chinese workplace 狼性文化

The VP of Baidu in China once said, ‘I am not the mother-in-law of my employees, so why would I care about their families?’ This statement stirred up anger among almost all working people in China. What is workplace culture like in China? Find out more in today’s episode!

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Hello everyone! Welcome back to MaoMi Chinese!


Recently, there’s been a statement from a Chinese female director-general that’s sparked a lot of anger among Chinese workers. She said she’s not the employees’ mother, questioning why she should care about their families or whether they’re happy or not; she just wants them to do their job well. Some say her words reminded them of their own bosses and found them utterly disagreeable. Others argue she’s just speaking the truth, claiming that’s how it is to work in China. Is it true? Let’s discuss the workplace culture in China today.


The director-general in question is named Qu Jing. She works at Baidu, a well-known Chinese internet company. Qu Jing is the Vice President of Baidu, earning an exceptionally high salary of 15 million yuan per year. She’s a workaholic, meaning she loves working and puts in a tremendous amount of effort. Qu Jing can work for fifty days straight without taking a break. Despite having a son, she often forgets his birthday due to her work commitments. She expects her employees to be workaholics too. During the Chinese New Year and weekends, her employees have no time off. If an employee wants to resign due to work stress, she approves it immediately. In an interview, she said, “I’m not the employees’ mother, why should I care about their families? Why should I care if they break up?” People were infuriated upon hearing this. As a result, Baidu’s stocks plummeted. Eventually, Qu Jing had to apologize, and ultimately, she resigned too.


Some argue that Qu Jing was right because this is how the workplace culture in China is, very harsh. In China, many people have to work 996, meaning they start work at 9 am and finish at 9 pm, six days a week. Later, people said 996 was already good because in some companies, people have to work until midnight and even on weekends. In China, many bosses like to make their employees work overtime, and employees can’t refuse. Many people have to earn money because they have families and children, so they have to work overtime. This kind of workplace culture is called “wolf culture”, which means everyone needs to work hard together, and the harder you work, the more money you make. However, some people say that this kind of culture doesn’t care too much about employees’ health and it’s very brutal.


But now, China’s workplace culture is gradually changing a bit. Nowadays, more and more young people don’t want to have children or don’t have children, so they don’t have as much pressure and dare to say no to their bosses. What young people dislike the most are bosses like Qu Jing, who are very cruel, cold-blooded, disrespectful to employees, and don’t care about them. They criticize Qu Jing on social media, but in reality, they are also criticizing this cruel workplace culture.


Have you ever worked in China? What do you think of China’s workplace culture? What’s the workplace culture like in your country? Feel free to leave us a comment and share your thoughts!

2 thoughts on “#164 Wolf culture in Chinese workplace 狼性文化”

  1. 谢谢发布了这么有意思的文章!我也觉得这个总裁说的话很残酷,因为员工人不是机器人也需要温柔体贴的态度。让他们加班也不对因为除了工作他们有私生活,得照顾家人。

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