Employees of Chinese e-commerce firm JD.com have publicized its directive to “make full contributions” to the company by working 12 hours a day, five days a week as competition in the e-commerce sector heats up.

A number of JD.com employees posted on Chinese professional networking service Maimai on Tuesday, claiming that the company is adopting a compulsory “995” working schedule, which refers to work schedules on weekdays starting at 9 a.m. and finishing at 9 p.m. Netizens cited by Chinese media questioned whether this new initiative was part of the company’s layoff strategy, forcing resignations for employees reluctant to work mandatory overtime.

Liu Li, a director in JD.com’s public relations, responded on Maimai on Wednesday, saying the company was not making overtime compulsory, but rather encouraging efficiency in hopes that all employees make full contributions and create value for customers and for themselves, as well. “Devotion and passion are in JD.com’s DNA, and we have no better choice but to work harder for the future of the company,” Chinese media cited Liu as saying.

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Jill Shen

Jill Shen is Shanghai-based technology reporter. She covers Chinese mobility, autonomous vehicles, and electric cars. Connect with her via e-mail: jill.shen@technode.com or Twitter: @yushan_shen