Bilibili Employee’s Death Suspected to Be due to Excessive Work

On Monday, “Wang Luobei”, a Weibo workplace blogger, said that according to several tipsters, the AI audit team leader of Bilibili, a Chinese video-sharing platform, died of a cerebral hemorrhage in the early morning of February 5 after being required to work overtime during the Spring Festival holiday.

According to the screenshots released by the blogger, some employees at Bilibili said that the night shift of the auditors is from 9:00 pm to 9:00 am, 12 hours a day during the Spring Festival holiday.

After the incident garnered widespread attention, Bilibili issued a response through an internal letter on Monday afternoon. In the statement, Bilibili said that, on the afternoon of February 4th, the employee nicknamed “Twilight Muxin” of the Content Security Graphic Review Department, suddenly felt unwell at home and sought medical treatment. He later died of massive cerebral hemorrhage at about 8 pm that night.

Bilibili verified the employee’s work attendance and noted that they had worked from 9:30 am to 6:30 pm every day during the Spring Festival which are considered “regular working hours”. During the week before his death on Feburary 4, he did not work overtime. The employee joined the company in May 2020.

In addition, Bilibili said in the email that at present, the company has set up a special team to cooperate with the police and the employee’s families to follow-up with the matter.

Video auditing has become a comomon criticism of Bilibili in recent times. In January this year, some tipsters reported that they saw certain accounts on the platform uploading footage that is suspected to have been obtained by hacking security cameras in public places such as schools and hospitals. In response to the above situation, Bilibili had removed those videos, banned the accounts responsible and reported the account information to the authorities.

In addition to content audit, the work intensity and overtime problems of auditors have come to light. After the recent death of an employee, many netizens broke the news to “Wang Luobei”, saying that the audit post in Bilibili was intensive and auditors could not take a vacation during the Spring Festival.

SEE ALSO: Graduate Complains to Overtime Work at Tencent

In recent years, Bilibili has been recruiting a large number of auditors. According to recruitment platforms, the company said in its “Content Review” job description that the position “has night shifts and overnight shifts, working 12 hours a day, one day on and one day off, and don’t apply if you mind.” This position is based in Wuhan, Hubei Province, and the salary is 4,000 yuan to 6,000 yuan.

Update: Bilibili issued a further response to the incident on Tuesday night, claiming that the platform’s content auditing efforts are operational at all times, including during the Spring Festival holiday. Like other public services, the job needs to be completed through shifts during holiday periods.

The firm asserts that the acting leader of the graphics review team did not return to his hometown to spend the Chinese New Year holiday. He led the group in arranging a shift schedule – eight hours per day, working for five days and resting two days. The company also offered to pay triple the usual salary to employees reporting for duty during the holiday period.

In response to questions from internal staff and the public, Bilibili stated some new measures it will take to improve its operations. First, the company will recruit 1,000 more people to join its content auditing team this year. This increased workforce can effectively cut back on individual burdens. Second, Bilibili will strive to pay more attention to the health of its employees. In addition to the annual regular physical examination, from this month, it will organize for all staff members of its content security center to carry out enhanced physical examinations. At the same time, a new round-the-clock health consulting room will ensure the physical and mental health of employees.