Jack Ma walks back promise to create 1M USA jobs

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Alibaba’s Jack Ma says US-China tariff war could last 2 decades

Jack Ma, the co-founder and chairman of Alibaba, said the Chinese e-commerce giant will no longer commit to creating 1 million jobs in the usa, blaming the countries' deepening trade war.

"The promise was made based on the premise of friendly US-China partnership and rational trade relations", Ma told state news agency Xinhua on Wednesday on the sidelines of an Alibaba conference in the eastern coastal city of Hangzhou.

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

Jack Ma, co-founder of the conglomerate, warned of 20 years of trade conflict as China and the United States prepared to extend their dispute.

The economic situation is not good, and that could last for a long time, Ma said at the World Economic Forum in Tianjin.

Ma's remarks come a day after U.S. President Donald Trump announced his decision to impose additional tariffs on $200 billion more in Chinese goods starting next week.

In April, Mr Ma doubled down on his pledge, claiming 10 million jobs could be created "if China and the USA maintain good trade relations". Ma referred to this continuing trade debacle in a call on Tuesday with investors as a "mess". "There is no way to deliver the promise", he said. He predicted that Chinese businesses would move production to other countries in the medium-term to get around the tariffs. China promptly reacted, announcing new trade tariffs on $60 billion of USA goods.

Instead of helping American small businesses reach Chinese consumers, one of the richest men in China said Alibaba will seek business opportunities elsewhere, mainly in Russia, Europe, South America, and Africa.

Ma, the cofounder of Alibaba, announced in early September that he would step down from his role as chairman at the end of the year to focus on philanthropy.

He added USA tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of Chinese products could prompt the country to export elsewhere.

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