Duty or responsibility

Recently, negative news about Pinduoduo has filled the headlines of major internet news outlets - sudden deaths, suicides, malicious dismissals... For such a company, how does it actually operate internally? Is it really as described on the internet? With great curiosity, I read an article titled "My Three Years at Pinduoduo" (

I was shocked when I read it. It's beyond belief. It can't be described as simply surprising; if what was written in the article is true, then the treatment of Pinduoduo's employees is truly like that of a prison.

The author spent two and a half years there, witnessing Pinduoduo's transformation from good to bad, and ultimately its complete deterioration.

Among them, the most unbearable thing is that the company doesn't see its employees as human beings at all. For example, they advocate that employees should "be dutiful." I even looked up the meaning of "be dutiful":

It means fulfilling one's own responsibilities and obligations; being content with one's position and environment. From "Xunzi: Non-Relative".

I thought it was a positive term, but in the article, the author says the following:

When I left Pinduoduo, I pondered about what "being dutiful" really means. I will briefly discuss my understanding, which does not represent the official explanation. I hope that one day the company will provide an explanation -
Emphasizing that employees must comply with all arrangements made by the company, regardless of whether they are reasonable or not;
Emphasizing that employees should not engage in anything unrelated to the company, even during their rest time;
Emphasizing that you are just a pawn, a hired mercenary, a human battery for the company, and you should do whatever you are told.

At Pinduoduo, this term has even taken on a negative connotation, and employees use it to mock or make fun of themselves:

Pinduoduo has no soul, and the term "being dutiful" has long lost its original meaning. It has become a tool to enslave employees. Privately, it is used in jest. For example, "Have you been dutiful this morning?" means "Did you clock in at 11:00 today?" "Are you going to be dutiful at lunchtime?" means "Are you going to eat in the office or outside?" "I won't be dutiful tonight" means "I won't work overtime tonight, I want to leave early." "You are not being dutiful" means "You are expressing dissenting opinions." "I won't be dutiful this Sunday" means "I won't work overtime this Sunday." "I will never be dutiful again" means "I'm going to quit."

This reminds me of a book I read before called "How Can I Not Long for Home?" It describes the self-mockery of Sanhe Masters1 towards life, forming a unique term called "gua bi". The term "gua bi" has a very broad meaning and can be applied to many situations. For example, when someone is broke, they are called "gua bi"; when a Sanhe Master passes away, it is called "gua bi"; even cheap things have unique names, such as "gua bi noodles" or "gua bi water"... If you want to learn more, you can read this book or read my book notes.

By making this comparison, don't you find that "being dutiful" and "gua bi" have a similar essence?

To make employees "be dutiful," the company can go as far as blocking websites, restricting internet access, violently dissolving private group chats, and controlling meal breaks like feeding pigs. To make such decisions, I believe it is a complete failure of the administration.

I don't think I can stay a moment longer in a company that disrespects and distrusts its employees.


  1. Sanhe Masters: A term used to refer to the working youth at Sanhe Market in Longhua, Shenzhen. They have no fixed residence, prefer daily wage jobs, and follow a pattern of working for one day and taking three days off. They are called Sanhe Masters by netizens.

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