14 May 2019: Jack Ma advises married-employees: "Sex for six days, six times"
Alibaba founder Jack Ma stoked up controversy recently after he advised his married employees to follow "669," that is, "Sex for six days, six times, with duration being the key."
Jack said this on May 10 during the company's 15th annual mass wedding day or 'Ali Day.'
This was also posted on Alibaba's official page on Weibo with a winking emoji, inviting criticism.
Speech: Jack was addressing 102 couples waiting anxiously to get married
Jack was addressing the 102 couples, dressed in wedding dresses and suits, looking forward to the ceremony at Alibaba's headquarters in Hangzhou, east China.
"At work, we emphasize the spirit of 996. In life, we should follow 669. What's 669? Six days, six times, with duration being the key," Jack said.
The "996" is another of Jack's controversial comments that he made last month.
Reaction: Last month, Jack defended his controversial 996 policy online
996 means Alibaba expects its employees to put in 12-hour shifts between 9am and 9pm in a 6-day week.
Jack said that such long hours have proved to be a 'huge blessing.'
"Many companies and 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," he asked last month on Weibo.
Social media: 'Who on earth would have the energy to 669'
So, during this year's mass wedding, Jack twisted the "996" policy a bit, did some wordplay, and quipped the "669" joke.
In Chinese, 'nine' is a homophone with the word for 'long.'
After the comment was posted, social media erupted in anger.
Some called it "lewd," while others asked, "Who on earth would have the energy to 669 at home after 996 during work?"
Speech: Jack also emphasized that newlyweds should have children
Jack, formerly an English teacher, also advised the newlyweds to have children, as "everything could be fake," except them.
"The first KPI (Key Performance Index) of marriage is to have results. There must be products. What's the product? Children. Marriage isn't for the purpose of accumulating wealth, not for buying a house, not for buying a car, but for having a child," he highlighted.
Fact: Why is 'Ali Day' observed by Alibaba every year?
The 54-year-old entrepreneur also was the officiant at the ceremony. The ceremony or 'Ali Day' is observed every year to commemorate Alibaba's employees, whose undying spirit helped the company sail through during the 2003 SARS outbreak, which killed over 200 in seven countries.
Comment: 'The value of love, unlike coding, can't be measured/calculated'
An Alibaba spokesperson noted that this day is organized to show appreciation for employees and their families.
Regarding this year's ceremony, the spokesperson said, "This year, Jack offered lighthearted life and marital advice, saying the key to a successful marriage is to forget the negatives and embrace the positives of each other and that the value of love, unlike coding, can't be measured/calculated."
China: Jack's comments may have enraged many, but it is relevant
Jack's plea to have sex (like a baboon) and have kids may have enraged many, but comes just in time given China's drop in birth rate and increasing pressure on its slowing economy.
China relaxed its one-child policy in 2016. Despite that the number of babies born last year was 15.23mn, a drop of 2mn, and the lowest birth rate since 1961.