The Bathroom Panorama in Chinese Tech Giants

  • An employee had to take a dump in the urinal due to a shortage of bathroom stalls in the company.
  • Many Chinese tech giants let hundreds of employees share very few stalls.
  • The bathroom has become the place to disconnect themselves.

Founded in 2015, Pinduoduo is without doubt the fastest growing tech company in the world. In merely five years, it has become the strongest rival of Alibaba Group in China. Huang Zheng, the founder, is now the 4th richest man in China, 24th in the world. Together with other Chinese tech giants like Alibaba, Tencent and ByteDance, they have become the dream destination for most Chinese coders. Recently, a bathroom problem might make jobseekers think twice before applying to Pinduoduo.

The post that triggered the discussions.

It all started when a Pinduoduo employee posted “the bathroom problem has finally led to a tragedy in floor 28” on the company intranet. Comments below revealed that a male employee took a dump in the urinal. The post got leaked out and soon trended on Weibo.

More employees complained about how difficult it is at the headquarter of Pinduoduo to use the bathroom. Liu, a 25-year-old coder, explained that there are over a thousand employees on each floor, but only eight bathroom stalls for each gender, with an average waiting time of over 20 minutes.

360 bathroom app that shows current stall usages.

Employees from other tech giants joined the discussions too. Kuaishou, TikTok’s rival, has the same problem. Without its own building, Kuaishou changes their headquarters every now and then as the number of employees grows.

In its current building, hundreds of employees must share only four stalls. In 2020, Kuaishou published over 10,000 job vacancies, which will only deteriorate its “stall per capita.”

Wangyi has the most luxury bathrooms of all.

ByteDance and Wangyi, although slightly better on the number of stalls on each floor, choose to block mobile phone and Wi-Fi signals in the bathrooms.

360 and Souhu, on the other hand, have designed their own bathroom occupation apps. These apps not only show which stalls are in use and for how long, but also recommend the best ones to avoid waiting time.

While this seems convenient, some employees feel that they’re been watched and want more privacy.

In Sina, employees complain that the bathrooms are constantly out of toilet paper. Employees from Baidu posted that their bathrooms are too small because their knees can touch the door.

Alibaba bathrooms.

As for Meituan, it is dubbed as having the smelliest bathrooms of all the tech giants. In general, employees from Tencent and Alibaba are satisfied with their bathroom situation since these two have designed and built their own headquarters.

Many internet users admit that the bathroom is their only place in the company where they can get a rest. Some choose to use the bathroom to adjust themselves when they become overwhelmed by pressure. Others simply want to blank out and disconnect for a few minutes.

However, for the company, the bathroom is an enemy of efficiency. It constitutes the last bit in a tech giant’s management system, whose sole goal is to make use of the employee’s body for as long as possible, so they will create more in a limited time.

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Just another attempt to show a more real China.

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