Jack Ma walks back promise to create 1M U.S. jobs

Alibaba chairman Jack Ma and Apple CEO Tim Cook

"The promise was made on the premise of friendly US-China partnership and rational trade relations..." "That premise no longer exists today, so our promise can not be fulfilled".

This week Trump said he would press ahead with 10 percent levies on $200 billion of imports - on top of $50 billion already targeted - prompting Beijing to target another $60 billion of usa goods with five to 10 percent taxes.

The new round of tariffs by Beijing will affect over 5,000 United States goods, ranging from meat, chemicals, nuts, alcoholic drinks, clothes, machinery, furniture and automobile parts, in a move that would further escalate the trade war between the world's largest two economies.

Ma met U.S. President Donald Trump two years ago and laid out the Chinese e-commerce giant's plan to bring one million small U.S. businesses onto its platform to sell to Chinese consumers over the next five years. "They still have many opportunities despite the trade frictions between China and the US", Mr Ma said. Earlier on Tuesday, China had retaliated by slapping tariffs on Dollars 60 billion of American products and its state council announced that the new tariffs would be imposed at rates of 5% or 10%, depending upon the product from the same date. "We have visited a lot of countries and regions and find opportunities are everywhere".

"We should work more in Africa, SEA (South East Asia), Europe", he said.

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Ma's comments also followed his surprise announcement - on his 54th birthday last Monday - about retiring next year.

"There are still many things that Chinese companies should and can do".

"Business communities in China, the USA and Europe will be all in trouble in the short term". Even if Trump retires and the next president comes in, the conflict will continue, he said.

Last week, Ma announced he would be retiring from the executive chairman position of Alibaba within the next year, and has been planning on leaving for quite some time. "Today China has become the second-largest economy in the world". Ma referred to this continuing trade debacle in a call on Tuesday with investors as a "mess". With both the USA and China going for broke on tariffs, Alibaba could very well be caught in the crossfire.

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