Chinese Studio Duoyi Network Imposes Voluntary Pay Cuts Despite Profits

Published: November 10, 2020 11:02 AM /


Portal Knights, a game operated in Chinese territories by Duoyi Network

Chinese gaming company Duoyi Network has sparked controversy after its employees took voluntary pay cuts despite the company making a profit this year. Duoyi Network says that it implemented the pay cuts to "test the staff's loyalty".

Why did Duoyi Network impose these pay cuts?

This news comes to us from China-focused news portal Inkstone News. Over 90% of Duoyi Network's employees reportedly took the voluntary pay cuts, with the company claiming that staff who took the cuts were "mostly happy and satisfied". Chairman Xu Bo supposedly offered a reward of 30,000 yuan (which equates to around $4,500) for any employee to come forward to the company and admit they didn't want to take the cut. Chairman Xu said the company would reward all employees who did this, no matter how many of them there were.

A memo, entirely in Chinese, asking Duoyi Network employees to take a pay cut
This memo was sent by Duoyi Network's Chairman Xu asking employees to take a pay cut.

The above pay cut memo was leaked by an employee of Duoyi Network named Yang Yiting. In the memo, Chairman Xu also says the company had a "good growth in profits", with the company performing well despite the stresses and challenges of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Duoyi Network staff say that the pay cuts are a yearly occurrence and that Duoyi considers them to be a test of employee loyalty to the company.

Duoyi says that Yang "resigned" after revealing the company's "commercial secret". Said commercial secret appears to take the form of employees 'volunteering' for pay cuts as a loyalty test. Although consequences are not directly stated if employees resist, it's not a stretch to imagine Yang and Duoyi Network parted on poor terms. Yang likely "resigned" in the same sense that Duoyi employees "volunteered" to take a pay cut.

Is this a widespread occurrence in China?

According to Inkstone News, tensions over labor in China are growing, with protests occurring in urban areas despite government crackdowns on dissidents. Inkstone says over 2.1 million labor dispute cases were handled by Chinese arbitration committees in 2019, which is an increase of 16% on 2018. It's not clear whether this is a widespread occurrence across China, but Chinese internet users have expressed disbelief and incredulity at the company's request. One Weibo user said Duoyi employees were being "coerced by the collectivism" of the company's culture, while another asked who would "risk losing their job for $4,500 (30,000 yuan)".

Duoyi Network is a Chinese gaming company based in the city of Guangzhou. It has created some of China's most well-known gaming franchises including Shenwu and Dream World. Western gamers might know it better as the company that has the rights to distribute online RPG Portal Knights in Chinese territories. We'll bring you more on this as we get it.

How do you feel about Duoyi Network's pay cut policy? Let us know in the comments below!

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| Senior Writer

Joe has been writing for TechRaptor for five years, and in those five years has learned a lot about the gaming industry and its foibles. He’s originally an… More about Joseph