Jack Ma endorses China's controversial 12 hours a day, 6 days a week work culture

Chinese state media also slammed those companies that make staff put in long hours at the office, without referencing Ma's post directly.

The 54-year old executive first waded into the debate over China's long working hours on Thursday , when comments he made to Alibaba employees about 996 were posted on the company's Weibo account.

Ma added that any prospective employees of Alibaba, one of the world's biggest tech companies, should be prepared to work 12 hours a day if they want to succeed.

Tesla ( TSLA ) co-founder Elon Musk has previously said he worked up to 120 hours per week when the electric vehicle maker struggled with production delays.

"There are way easier places to work, but nobody ever changed the world on 40 hours a week," he posted on social media site Twitter in November last year.

Jack Ma, founder of e-commerce giant Alibaba ( BABA ), has spoken out on social media in recent days in support of the Chinese work practice known as "996."

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