Last month, Alibaba founder and richest man in China Jack Ma attracted social media criticism for a Weibo post interpreted by many as being supportive of the “996” culture in China’s tech industry–referring to 9AM to 9PM workdays six days a week. Ma also said in a recent speech to employees that he thought it was a “huge blessing that we can work 996,” and that if someone wants to work at his company they should be prepared for 12-hour daily shifts. Ma’s comments came after Chinese tech workers launched a viral Github campaign in protest of the grueling work culture, which was blocked by web browsers from some Chinese tech companies, but has found support from tech workers in the U.S.
Netizens have since begun poking fun at Ma by creating parody music videos. One such video, titled “Poor Overtime” (穷加班) splices together video footage of Ma to appear as if the tech billionaire is singing in autotune. Some of the lyrics from that video include:
“I start another day of work
I’ll work til 9:30
I love to work overtime everyday
I still want my salary to rise
But I’m afraid I won’t even be able to eat […] ”
“996 isn’t the problem
The problem is that it’s compulsory […]” [Chinese]
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