China Trade Friction May Last 20 Years: Jack Ma

21 September, 2018, 02:48 | Author: Shannon Newton
  • Sean Gallup  Getty Images

"Trade is not a weapon and can not be used for wars", he added.

Jack Ma, co-founder of Chinese e-tech giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, said on Thursday that people should make preparations for 20 years of China-US trade frictions.

He had also said trade tensions would likely impact Chinese and foreign companies immediately and negatively, while predicting that Chinese businesses may move production to other countries in the medium-term to get around tariffs.

"This commitment was based on friendly China-US cooperation and the rational, objective premise of bilateral trade", Ma said. "That premise no longer exists today, so our promise can not be fulfilled".

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The billionaire owner of China's largest online shopping portal made the headline-grabbing promise to Mr Donald Trump previous year, as Beijing courted the then-newly elected president.

China retaliated by announcing about $60 billion worth of US goods on Tuesday.

"It's about competition between two countries", Ma said on Tuesday. Beijing hit back on Tuesday with levies on $60 billion of USA products.

Given the relative lack of talks between the two sides, the likelihood of the trade war subsiding anytime soon is slim.

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He had hoped that access to Chinese consumers through his retailer's online platform would help United States businesses grow to the point they could hire another 1m workers.

"The current state of affairs has already destroyed the premise the promise was made on", Ma said in an interview on Tuesday.

Analysts had already expressed doubts about the pledge, which Alibaba announced after Trump and Ma met at Trump Tower in NY in January 2017.

Under that succession plan, Zhang will be promoted to executive chairman on September 10 next year, while Ma will remain a director on Alibaba's board and a permanent member of the Alibaba Partnership, according to a letter to all staff including the South China Morning Post, which is wholly owned by the New York-traded company.

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