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Jack Ma: Prepare for 20 years of China-US trade war

Jack Ma: Prepare for 20 years of China-US trade war

Chinese tech giant Alibaba will no longer bring the 1 million jobs it had promised to the US because the hostile trade environment created by President Donald Trump and his ongoing tariff conflict with China has made such a plan impossible, the company's co-founder and chairman Jack Ma announced this week.

The Chinese icon of innovation had promised creating around 1 million jobs in the US through the year 2021 during his meeting with president Trump last year.

"This commitment is based on friendly China-U.S. cooperation and the rational and objective premise of bilateral trade", Ma told Xinhua. "The situation now has completely destroyed our premise, so it can no longer be completed". "They still have many opportunities despite the trade frictions between China and the US", Ma said.

He claimed US President Donald Trump's escalating tariffs battle with Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping has "ruined" his pledge, adding: "But we won't stop working hard to promote the healthy development of Sino-US trade".

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Mr Ma's bold pledge following his January 2017 meeting at Trump Tower was greeted with scepticism by analysts at the time, who said the move was more about good public relations than substance.

Trump imposed 10 percent tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports on Monday, threatening to place taxes on an additional $267 billion worth of Chinese imports if China attempts to retaliate.

Alibaba is no exception and would suffer from the effects of the trade war, however the crisis would also present new opportunities for the company to capitalize, Ma said.

"It's going to be long-lasting, it's going to be a mess, maybe 20 years", Ma said.

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Nonetheless, Ma's statement underlines Chinese bearishness in the wake of tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods imported to the USA on top of $50 billion covered by an earlier round.

"The U.S. like competition, China likes harmony, they're two different cultures", Ma said at an investor conference in Shanghai on Tuesday.

He announced last week that he will step down within a year and hand the company reins to chief executive Daniel Zhang.

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