On Monday, a GitHub user called on those who condemn 996 to respond to Jack Ma’s endorsement of the widely criticized work schedule by sending an official copy of China’s labor law on May 4 to the Alibaba headquarters.

The post calls the action “performance art” aimed at raising awareness over the harsh and arguably illegal working conditions in China’s tech industry. Chinese labor law states that staff shouldn’t work more than 36 hours of overtime a month. But the demands of the industry have employees working 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., six days a week.

Ma, founder of Alibaba and the richest man in China, dismissed outcry on social media over the grueling working hours in China’s tech industry in a blog post on April 12. “To be able to work 996 is a huge blessing,” he said.

Start your free trial now.

Get instant access to all our premium content, archives, newsletters, and online community.

Monthly Membership

Yearly Membership

What you get

Full access to all premium content and our full archives

Members'-only newsletters

Preferential access and discounts to all TechNode events

Direct access to the TechNode newsroom

Start your free trial now.

Get instant access to all our premium content, archives, newsletters, and online community.

Monthly Membership

Yearly Membership

Eliza Gkritsi

Eliza is TechNode's blockchain and fintech reporter. When she isn't obsessing over the rise of distributed ledger technology in China, she helps with editing.