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Controversy Swirls Around Chinese Tech Firm Bathroom Timers

Credibility of Beijing tech firm goes down the drain.

Photo Credit Weibo|Timer

A Chinese tech company has responded to its timed toilet breaks.

Employees at Kuaishou, a tech firm based in Beijing, were greeted with a most unpleasant sight in their bathroom cubicles. Massive digital timers were installed above each stall, implying every time staff sit down, they are being timed.

Photos of the digital clock faces began to circulate Chinese social media site Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, which boasts 200 million users. Outcry was instant. 

Photo Credit Weibo|Cubicle

“Now people don’t even have the freedom to take a sh*t?”, one user cursed.

Another angry person commented, “This is outrageous. They want you to do your work quickly and also take a dump quickly!” 

Some users really tore into the practice by questioning the company’s violation of human liberty. “This is really miserable for workers that there is no toilet freedom,” one user wrote.

Kuaishou attempted to respond via Weibo and denied the timers are used for staff’s bathroom breaks.

The company maintains the timers were misunderstood, and that management was trying to help employees with overcrowding, and lines, in front of the bathrooms with these timers. 

The public statement reads:

The fact is that there are currently a limited number of toilets on the site, and there is a serious problem of employees queuing to go to the toilet. But because of the building’s construction layout, it is extremely difficult to build new toilet cubicles within the building.

It is not purely to manage employee time but aims to see how many people are using the toilet, and to determine how many portable toilets need to be installed to accommodate staff later.

The firm did not stick to one explanation, instead stating there isn’t enough space to build more, and the timers are only meant to combat queuing.

However, the intent could be more dodgy than it’s willing to admit. Maybe employees could make the quick trip to Berlin to use this Facebook listing.

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