He is being backed by fellow tech entrepreneur Richard Liu, the boss of e-commerce giant JD.com.
Ma wrote that without the 996 system, China's economy was "very likely to lose vitality and impetus" and called the opportunity to work 996 hours a "blessing."
Liu said years of rapid economic growth in China had boosted the number of "slackers".
Ma's personal wealth is estimated at around $40bn.
Hopefully, rather than heed the advice of their exploiters, the Chines workers will continue to press for a reduction in working hours and an increase leisure time. Under capitalism workers are subject, as Marx put it, to the "never-ceasing encroachments of capital".
The struggle for a shorter working week is a part of the trade union struggle to ensure that workers are paid the full value of their labour power (not the same thing, of course, as the full value of what they produce).
Working 55 hours or more a week can also increase the chances of suffering a stroke by a third compared to those working 40 hours or less. Researchers also found a significant increased risk of developing coronary heart disease, which was 13 per cent more likely in people who worked long hours compared to the normal working week.