Chinese billionaire and Alibaba founder Jack Ma is no stranger to controversial comments. Just last month, Ma faced flak for advocating "996 work culture" — a regime under which tech employees should work for 12-hours a day, six days a week.
Now, in a somewhat contradictory statement, Ma has gone further and said that along with 996, employees should also follow the "669" mantra for good home and work life balance. What is 669? Having sex six times in six days "with the emphasis on 9".
Nine in Mandarin also means long-lasting so no prices for guessing the pun.
The comments came during a mass wedding for his company employees on Friday which Ma attended where he encouraged all his employees to have lots of sex. Incidentally, Friday, May 10, also happened to be Ali Day, a day dedicated to the commitment of Alibaba employees.
"Marriage is not for the purpose of accumulating wealth, not for buying a house …but for having a baby together," ABC reported Ma as saying at the event, held at Alibaba's headquartered in Hangzhou, China.
According to Ma, the KPI (Key Performance Index) of 669 along with 996 work culture is essential for maintaining optimum productivity and work-life balance. The message was even posted on Alibaba's official page on Chinese social media site Weibo.
The comments have drawn the 54-year-old billionaire a lot of flak on Chinese social media with many slamming Ma for commenting on his employees' sex lives. Others pointed out that after working 9 am to 9 pm shifts for six days, most of his employees would have no energy to perform at 669 levels.
However, coming amid one of the worst population crises that China has ever seen, Ma's comments may just be foreshadowing a more sombre reality. With a rapidly ageing population, Beijing gave up on the one child policy, intended to control the population boom in the country, in 2016. However, despite efforts and incentives, 2018 saw one of the lowest birth-rates in China since 1961 with young couples choosing to not procreate.