TikTok’s Demanding Work Culture Is Under More Scrutiny

Kristin Snyder

Kristin Snyder is an editorial intern for dot.la. She previously interned with Tiger Oak Media and led the arts section for UCLA's Daily Bruin.

TikTok’s Demanding Work Culture Is Under More Scrutiny
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More TikTok employees have spoken out about the social media firm’s demanding work culture—criticizing the company for pressuring them to work long hours that ate into their work-life balance.

Several former TikTok employees told the Wall Street Journal that managers at the video-sharing app urged them to work through evenings and weekends, resulting in increased stress, anxiety and health issues. The U.S.-based employees—many of whom worked out of TikTok’s U.S. headquarters in Culver City—noted that they were often obligated to attend meetings during typically non-work hours with colleagues in China (TikTok is owned by Beijing-based tech firm ByteDance) and respond to messages at all hours.


Multiple former employees told the WSJ that they averaged 85 hours of meetings per week at TikTok and often had to start their workweek on Sunday afternoon, in order to sync with Monday morning meetings in China. That and the company’s high productivity expectations led to sleep deprivation and weight fluctuation for some.

The pressure to match international schedules ramped up last year after TikTok replaced Los Angeles-based interim CEO Vanessa Pappas with Singapore-based Shou Zi Chew, the WSJ noted.

TikTok’s booming popularity in recent years made it the world’s most visited website in 2021, with over 1 billion monthly active users—momentum that the app has carried into 2022 as the world’s most downloaded app in the first quarter, according to digital analytics company Sensor Tower.

But as TikTok has grown, the demanding work culture inside the company has prompted several employees to speak out. Last month, ex-TikTok account director Pabel Martinez said TikTok was pushing its U.S. employees to channel China’s “996” work culture, referring to demands that they work from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., six days a week.

In a statement to the WSJ, a TikTok spokesperson said the company is “committed to building an equitable platform and business that allows both our community and our employees to thrive.”

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Plus Capital Partner Amanda Groves on Celebrity Equity Investments

Minnie Ingersoll
Minnie Ingersoll is a partner at TenOneTen and host of the LA Venture podcast. Prior to TenOneTen, Minnie was the COO and co-founder of $100M+ Shift.com, an online marketplace for used cars. Minnie started her career as an early product manager at Google. Minnie studied Computer Science at Stanford and has an MBA from HBS. She recently moved back to L.A. after 20+ years in the Bay Area and is excited to be a part of the growing tech ecosystem of Southern California. In her space time, Minnie surfs baby waves and raises baby people.
PLUS Capital​’s Amanda Groves.
Courtesy of Amanda Groves.

On this episode of the L.A. Venture podcast, Amanda Groves talks about how PLUS Capital advises celebrity investors and why more high-profile individuals are choosing to invest instead of endorse.

As a partner at PLUS, Groves works with over 70 artists and athletes, helping to guide their investment strategies. PLUS advises their talent roster to combine their financial capital with their social capital and focus on five investment areas: the future of work, future of education, health and wellness, the conscious consumer and sustainability.

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Rivian Stock Roller Coaster Continues as Amazon Van Delivery Faces Delays

David Shultz

David Shultz is a freelance writer who lives in Santa Barbara, California. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Outside and Nautilus, among other publications.

Rivian Stock Roller Coaster Continues as Amazon Van Delivery Faces Delays
Courtesy of Rivian.

Rivian’s stock lost 7% yesterday on the back of news that the company could face delays in fulfilling Amazon’s order for a fleet of electric delivery vans due to legal issues with a supplier. The electric vehicle maker is suing Commercial Vehicle Group (CVG) over a pricing dispute related to the seats that the supplier promised, according to the Wall Street Journal.

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