Chinese tycoon Jack Ma‘s Alibaba Group has been officially investigated for anti-monopoly, and Ma’s past comments have also been brought up for scrutiny at this moment. “A recent commentary by Xinhua News Agency named “996” and other work patterns, saying that “996 and other so-called ‘struggle’ is never a blessing. “, was interpreted as a criticism of Jack Ma.
The article, signed by Xinhua News Agency’s collective pen name “Xin Qiping”, which is used to promote the official mainstream ideology, cited the sudden death of an employee at the Chinese e-commerce company “Jindo” after work in the early morning as an example, pointing out that “abnormal overtime work The phenomenon is getting more and more intense in some places, and some people preach the so-called ‘struggle concept’ seriously deviated and changed the flavor”, some enterprises enforce “996”, “small and big week” and other work patterns, “the “The article criticizes that “the so-called ‘struggle’ that disregards workers’ rights and interests and overdraws workers’ health is in no way a ‘blessing’. It is not only a violation of labor law, but also a deviation from the spirit of struggle, and its social harm cannot be underestimated.
The article says, “A socially responsible company can not only achieve a positive performance in the fierce competition, but also make the happiness index of its employees rise continuously in the shared development.” It also refers to the fact that “in the guise of struggle, we must strengthen the supervision and dare to take real action to tackle the problem of abnormal overtime work.
Although the whole article did not mention Jack Ma, but Jack Ma once in 2019 for the “996” working hours system caused by public grievances, said at an internal event in Alibaba, “can do 996 is a great blessing, many companies, many people want to 996 have no opportunity”, “can 996, is we people to repair the blessing”, attracted fierce criticism from all sides.
The “996” system refers to the overtime culture of many Chinese technology and internet companies that work at 9 a.m. and finish at 9 p.m., six days a week.
After the anti-monopoly investigation of Alibaba Group, Jack Ma has not appeared publicly so far, causing speculation. The Financial Times reported on the 7th that officials had issued “instructions” to the media at the end of December last year, requesting that reports be “fully quoted” from the official statement. “No change or extension of analysis without approval.
Analysts say the directive is unusual, and that Ma’s provocation of the government at this point is likely to be highly political, not just a speech that offended Xi Jinping or other official party sensitivities.