(Yicai Global) Jan. 30 -- The founder of e-commerce startup China Youzan, which expects staff to toil 12 hours a day, six days a week, has said its so-called 9-9-6 work culture is a "good thing."
"We've chosen to work for a startup, and thus elected to disregard our personal lives," Zhu Ning, who is also the Hong Kong-based company's chief executive, wrote in an open letter in response to heated debate on social media over the firm's new work practices.
Management announced at its annual meeting on Jan. 17 that the company would adopt the 9-9-6 work culture, an employee said anonymously on Maimai, a LinkedIn-style Chinese app. Money for team-building is being withheld and the CEO must approve the hiring of personnel over 38 years of age, other staff added.
"You don't have to agree with me, but I don't want to sugarcoat it for you," Zhu said in his letter. "It'll definitely be a good thing when you look back a few years from now."
Youzan has a corporate vision to be a most trusted business leader and also an organization where people enjoy themselves, Zhu said in the excerpt of a speech he posted on Jan. 27.
The company had 2,200 employees at the end of last year, up from 900 at the end of 2017, he said, responding to claims its new work hours are simply a way to shed unwilling workers. The number enjoying their work is rising, while the ratio of those who do not is dropping, the firm's 1,800-plus anonymous staff questionnaires show.
Editor: Ben Armour