Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) is one of the most commonly diagnosed malignant tumors worldwide and identified as a serious threat to human health. The role of MEX3A in ESCC remains unclear. In this study, we found that MEX3A was upregulated in tumor tissues of ESCC and positively associated with more advanced tumor stage, higher risk of lymphatic metastasis and poor prognosis. The downregulation of MEX3A in ESCC cell lines could induce inhibition of cell proliferation, colony formation, cell migration, and the promotion of cell apoptosis, while MEX3A overexpression exhibited opposite effects. In vivo experiments also verified the inhibition of ESCC induced by MEX3A knockdown. Moreover, we identified CDK6 as a potential target of MEX3A, which was also upregulated in ESCC. Further studies demonstrated that knockdown of CDK6 showed similar effects on the development of ESCC with MEX3A. More importantly, it was illustrated that CDK6 knockdown could alleviate the promotion effects of MEX3A overexpression on ESCC. In conclusion, MEX3A was identified as a tumor promotor in the development and progression of ESCC by targeting CDK6, which may be considered as a novel prognostic indicator and therapeutic target in treatment of ESCC.