One of China's richest men has been criticized for backing the controversial culture of 12-hour workdays in the technology industry, saying that employees who work longer hours will get the "rewards of hard work."
Jack Ma, founder of the giant of the electronic commerce Alibaba, pronounced in his social networks in the last days supporting the Chinese work practice known as "996." The number refers to work from 9 am to 9 pm six days a week and it is said to be common among the country's large technology companies and ventures.
"If we find things we like, 996 is not a problem," Ma said in a blog post on Sunday at the Chinese social networking site Weibo. "If you do not like [your job], every minute is torture," he added.
The creator of Alibaba, Jack Ma, speaks at the International Forum of Economy and Commerce in Shanghai China in November 2018. (Credit: Getty Images).
Ma's comments provoked criticism from users of Chinese social networks.
"Have you ever thought of the elderly who are at home and in need of care, (or on) children who need company?" Wrote the Weibo user, stupidcan123 in response to Ma's publication. "If all companies to meet a 996 schedule, nobody will have children for lack of time, "they added.
Chinese state media also criticized the companies that make staff work long hours in the office, without directly referring to Ma's publication.
"Defending hard work and commitment does not mean forcing overtime," the state-run People's Daily wrote in a commentary published on Sunday. "The mandatory application of the 996 overtime culture not only reflects the arrogance of business managers, but it is also unfair and impractical."