Wu Lijun was 36. (Internet photo)
Wu Lijun, who was president of Yunifang, an online retailer that sells mud masks and skincare products on Taobao, one of China's largest e-commerce platforms, died on July 15. The cause of death is suspected to be overwork, a situation that is becoming worryingly common among people who earn their living by selling goods online, reports the Beijing Youth Daily, the official newspaper of the Communist Youth League committee in Beijing.
Yunifang had become the leading seller of cosmetic mask products on Taobao after only six months on the platform. The retailer was later listed on Taobao's top 50 outlets.
Wu died due to a brain condition in Changsha in south-central China at the age of only 36. There have been several cases of death due to overwork in the online retail sector.
Taobao reportedly conducted a survey into the health of 74 of their retails and are said to have found the results worrying.
The earlier death of a 24-year-old Taobao retailer in Hangzhou was the first to prompt discussion about how hard people in the industry were working to sell their goods and promote their outlet. Taobao posted an official expression of condolences on that occasion and reminded its retailers to take care of their health.
It has been taken for granted that to succeed in the emerging e-commerce business, it is necessary to work hard and for long hours to process and ship orders and ensure customers are satisfied. Overwork has become an acknowledged feature of the industry.
Wu Lijun 吳立君