How “996” helps Alibaba owner richest in China

April 14, 2019
155 Views

The richest man in China said he expects his employees to do a 72-hour week, describing it as a ‘huge blessing’ for workers.

Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba, the country’s biggest commerce company, weighed into a debate about work-life balance in a speech to staff this week.

He defended the prospect of a ‘996’ schedule, which features office hours of 9am to 9pm six days a week, and said it helped him be more successful.

If you don’t work 996 when you are young, when can you ever work 996?’

Mr Ma, a former English teacher who co-founded Alibaba in 1999, added that he had regularly worked long hours as he built the company.

‘In this world, everyone wants success, wants a nice life, wants to be respected,’ he said.

‘Let me ask everyone, if you don’t put out more time and energy than others, how can you achieve the success you want?’

He added that he didn’t regret working ‘996’ as there are many other people in the tech industry without jobs or facing redundancy.

Working hours at Alibaba have recently come up for discussion after it was ranked as having some of the worst employee conditions by activists on Microsoft’s GitHub.

On Thursday, a Chinese paper the People’s Daily published an opinion piece that argued ‘996’ violated China’s Labour Law, which stipulates that average work hours cannot exceed 40 hours a week.

‘Creating a corporate culture of “encouraged overtime” will not only not help a business’ core competitiveness, it might inhibit and damage a company’s ability to innovate,’ the unnamed author said.

Read more: https://metro.co.uk/2019/04/13/chinas-richest-man-makes-employees-work-72-hours-week-calls-blessing-9197237/?ito=cbshare

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