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Jack Ma Expects His Employees to Work 72 Hours Every Week

Working 72 hours a week is a “huge blessing” for his workers, says China’s richest man.


He’s known not only as the founder of Alibaba but also as the richest man in China. Jack Ma is surely someone who needs no introduction plus, yes, he is no stranger to controversy.

Case in point, Ma recently made headlines once again after declaring that he expects his workers to work 72 hours every week. Alibaba’s rigorous ‘996’ schedule, which expects employees to work for 12 hours (from 9AM to 9PM) six days a week, has been lauded by Ma – and people are disagreeing with him.

Working 73 hours a week is a “huge blessing” for his workers, said Jack Ma.

In the company’s WeChat account, Ma wrote:

“I personally think that being able to work 996 is a huge blessing.

“Many companies and many people don’t have the opportunity to work 996. If you don’t work 996 when you are young, when can you ever work 996?”

As we’ve mentioned, his words stirred up quite a reaction on the internet and many are questioning the need to drain employees that much. It’s harsh to place such a demanding schedule to workers, some pointed out.

Ma shared that he used to work “long hours” back in his younger years.

He remarked:

“In this world, everyone wants success, wants a nice life, wants to be respected.

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

“Compared to them, up to this day, I still feel lucky, I don’t regret (working 12 hour days), I would never change this part of me.”

Meanwhile, an anonymous employee wrote an article in China’s state newspaper People’s Daily saying ‘996’ is actually a violation of the country’s existing labor law.

The article said:

“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.”


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