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‘Marriage KPIs’: Why Jack Ma told his employees to have sex six times a week

Dominic Powell /

Jack Ma

Alibaba founder Jack Ma.

We regret to inform you Jack Ma is at it again.

The founder and former chief executive of the Alibaba Group, and one of China’s richest people, has followed up on his controversial ‘996’ comments last month with a fresh set of recommendations for workers. But this time, the business guru is promoting a different sort of hard work.

At an Alibaba company wedding, where more than 100 couples were married en-masse, Ma gave a lighthearted keynote speech of sorts, flipping the ‘996’ work ethic on its head, and instead promoting ‘669’.

“At work, we emphasise the spirit of 996. In life, we should follow 669,” he said, reports the ABC.

“We want 669 in life. What is 669? Six times in six days, the emphasis is on nine.”

What Ma is referring to here, is sex. Bonking. Rolling in the hay. Making love. The ol’ horizontal tango.

The founder, worth some $55 billion dollars, was encouraging his workers to copulate at least six times a week, with the emphasis on ‘nine’ referring to length, as nine is a homophone for ‘long’ in Mandarin.

The reference to 996 made by Ma was a callback to his comments last month, which promoted the controversial Chinese work ethic of working from 9am to 9pm, six days a week. Ma called the 72-hour work week a “blessing”.

“I personally think that being able to work 996 is a huge blessing,” Ma said at the time.

“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?”

But when it comes to 669, Ma seems to be promoting it for all Alibaba workers, young and old, encouraging them to hit their ‘marriage KPIs’.

“The first KPI of marriage is to have results. There must be products. What is the product? Have children,” the founder said at the ceremony.

“Marriage is not for the purpose of accumulating wealth, not for buying a house, not for buying a car, but for having a child together.”

The comments sparked backlash from Chinese media, which labelled them “disgusting”, however, some believe Ma’s speech was an attempt to kickstart a baby boom in China.

The country has experienced a dearth of new births in recent times, with its controversial one-child policy reducing the number of children being born. Last year saw the fewest number of births in the last half-century, with just 15.23 million children born.

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Dominic Powell

Dominic is the features and profiles editor at SmartCompany. Email him at [email protected].

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