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Workin' 9 to 9, what a way to make a livin': Chinese billionaire faces backlash for 72 hour work week

Last Updated Apr 16, 2019 at 7:07 am PDT

FILE. (iStock Photo)
Summary

Idea of a 72-hour work week is being criticized after it was proudly endorsed by a Chinese billionaire

Alibaba chairman Jack Ma is facing backlash for encouraging his employees to clock in for 6 long days a week

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Maybe Dolly Parton should have extended her hours.

One of the richest men in the world says working 9-to-9 is the way to make a difference, unlike what Parton’s hit song suggests.

Chinese businessman and billionaire Jack Ma is encouraging a 12 hours a day, six days a week schedule, and in his words, “How can you achieve the success that you want without exceeding other people’s effort and time?”

But the endorsement isn’t sitting well with everyone.

“I believe he’s a workaholic, I don’t know what’s effective but 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., six days, for me no,” one woman tells NEWS 1130. “I like my free time. I want to enjoy my free time, I just want to protect the free time to enjoy my life as well.”

Another person says Ma’s out to lunch when it comes to modern workers’ rights.

“If you’re working for the man and they’re abusing you, I think that’s horrible,” he says. “I’m self-employed and love what I do… I’ll work 12 to 14 hour days, seven days a week. However, having said that, maybe take a week off whenever I want, so.”

Ma, the chairman of Alibaba, is one of the richest men in the world. He grew up poor in communist China and cobbled together the cash to start his tech giant with cash borrowed from friends.

His rags to riches story saw him grow his $474 billion company — dubbed China’s eBay — into a tech giant.

In that country’s booming and competitive high tech sector, where Alibaba is king, clocking in from 9 in the morning to 9 at night, six days a week might be the only way for workers to compete.

While his endorsement may not sit well with everyone, some say you just need to do what you need to do to get by.

“No choice, you want to work seven days a week,” one man says. “And Vancouver is very expensive, you can’t leave before you work seven days a week.”