Alibaba cofounder and chairman, Jack Ma, came out in support of China’s gruelling working hours in a speech to employees on Thursday.
He referred to China’s infamous “996” schedule – a 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. workday, six days a week – as being a “blessing” for young workers.
Ma’s comments were supported by Richard Liu, the billionaire founder and CEO of Chinese ecommerce giant JD.com.
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Chinese tech billionaire Jack Ma endorsed China’s gruelling work hours in a speech to employees on Thursday.
In the speech last week, Ma referred to China’s overtime culture, known as “996” – a 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. workday, six days a week — as a “huge blessing” for young workers.
“Many companies and many people don’t have the opportunity to work 996,” he said, Reuters reported. “If you don’t work 996 when you are young, when can you ever work 996?”
This provoked a backlash online, prompting Ma — who has a net worth of nearly $40 billion according to Forbes — to write a blog post on Sunday addressing his comments.
“As I expected, my comments internally a few days ago about the 996 schedule caused a debate and non-stop criticism,” Ma wrote in the blog post, translated by Bloomberg.
“I understand these people, and I could have said something that was ‘correct.’ But we don’t lack people saying ‘correct’ things in the world today, what we lack is truthful words that make people think.”
Alibaba did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.
Ma said in his blog post that forcing employees to work these hours was “inhumane.” However, “if you find a job you like, the 996 problem does not exist,” he said. “If you’re not passionate about it, every minute of going to work is a …read more
Source:: Business Insider