Internet giant NetEase apologizes for brutally sacking employee
China’s internet and game company NetEase apologized for firing an employee even though he had an “incurable disease,” admitting that those who dealt with the incident were “simple, brash and impersonal.”
“We apologize to our former colleague, his family and the public. We are sorry, we’ve made a mistake,” NetEase said in an announcement released on Monday.
The apology came after an online article written by the employee, who accuses the company of sacking him after he was diagnosed with heart diseases in January.
The employee, who had worked for NetEase’s videogame department for five years, said the company tried various ways to force him to leave, including not paying his bonus, being picky about his work performance and attendance, saying he was “unqualified” for the job. It even called security guards to force him to leave.
The employee inserted an audio recording in his article as evidence of his bad treatment.
The letter sparked huge reaction on social media, and the hashtag “NetEase” was viewed 280 million as of press time. Many netizens criticized the company for its inhumane treatment employees.
NetEase said it received the request for dismissal from the former employee’s supervisor, who said his work performance was “unsatisfactory.” The supervisor didn’t fully understand the employee’s health situation, the statement said.
The company said it had paid the man on time during his three-month sick leave. However, employees from the company’s human resources department failed to handle the man’s departure from the company in a proper way.
NetEase said that it will pay the man 12 months basic salary and provide other assistance he might require.
Internet users discussed the infamous “996” overtime schedule which many employees of China’s internet companies are required to work. The numbers refer to a workday that lasts from 9 am to 9 pm and a six-day workweek, a schedule that many people say is hurting their health.
“It’s not only NetEase that behaves like this. I work for an internet company where there are many similar cases but most people choose to remain silent,” said a Sina Weibo user.