A month after making it clear that he only wants employees who can work 12 hours a day, six days a week, Alibaba chairman Jack Ma is now encouraging married ones — especially newlyweds — to also work hard between the sheets.
Presiding at a ceremony for the company’s 15th “Ali Day” on Friday, the Chinese e-commerce magnate defended the “996” work culture once more but endorsed “669” for his employees’ personal lives.
“What is 669? Six days, six times, with ‘longer’ being the key,” Ma told the crowd, using a pun on the Chinese pronunciation for number nine (九 or “jiŭ”).
For the rest of his speech, the 54-year-old billionaire conveyed a much clearer message of encouraging couples to have more children, echoing the call of the Chinese government against a demographic time bomb.
In October 2015, the Chinese Communist Party ended its infamous one-child policy over fears that it may jeopardize the country’s economic ascension.
The policy, which was implemented in the late 1970s, also led to a skewed sex ratio of males to females as families favored boys over girls, with some allegedly resorting to infanticide.
Ma, who called children a “better investment” than properties, took his “669” advice to Weibo. However, many questioned its compatibility with the “996” schedule he has been pressing for, while others criticized him for being “vulgar.”
Weibo users commented:
“Work 996. Live 669. Sunday ICU.”
“If I get home at 10:30 p.m., will I still be able to think about this?”
“Vulgar, vulgar, vulgar. Jack Ma is seriously due for some self-check.”
“This is just disgusting, the kind of words that could count as harassment in foreign companies.”
“Teacher Jack Ma, you seem to be confused at your age. Your remarks so far this year are really very repugnant.”
Images via Weibo / Alibaba