Using WeChat for Overtime Work is Now Banned?

Source: JobTube, Arianna J., Freya W., Josh B.

On December 8th, Chinese media covered tragic news about two railway employees died in a high-speed train accident due to a delayed instruction sent via WeChat...

The news covered by media

The Accident

In the early morning of December 6th, a workshop leader of Tianjin electric power section of Beijing Railway Group received an instruction to postpone an operation via their internal system. 

However, he didnt forward it to his subordinates via the internal system. Instead, he sent it in a WeChat group and didnt follow up for confirmation.

Tragically, the instruction was missed by two employees who went to work on the rails and were hit by the train.

It was understood that there were no passengers on board when the accident occurred. As of now, the responsible person has been removed from the post, and the case is still under investigation.

Overtime Work via WeChat after Work-Hours Officially Banned?

The accident triggered heated debates on WeiBo on two topics:

  1. Does WeChat count as office software?

  2. Should WeChat be used to convey work? Both of which soon had 200 million views.

In fact, there was already an official regulation on it. 

As early as April 28th, 2019, the local government pf Xiangzhou District, Zhuhai, Guangdong issued regulations on WeChat Group Chats for work, which are as follows:

  1. In principle, one WeChat group should only exist for one unit;

  2. Substantive contents only, no spamming allowed in the group chat;

  3. In principle, work information shall not be sent during non-working hours;

  4. A group established for a special project should be disbanded in time after the completion of the project.

Among netizens, there are two major voices on the regulation. One proposes to promote it nationwide:

Translation: Hope this could go nationwide;

Translation: Work is work; rest is rest! Don't mess things up, keep the balance.

Translation: Any way to let my boss read this?

While the other voice argues that banning WeChat groups can't solve the problem as it's only the means of sending work that are forbidden, not the task itself, which can make the work more difficult.

Translation: Even if without a group, tasks still can be assigned over phone or private chat, the regulation is simply so

Translation: Does it actually work?

Translation: Honestly, the works are still there to be done even without a group, and it would be troublesome when a communication or a notification needs to be done. Will there be less work without a group???

What do you think?