Alibaba co-founder and Chairman Jack Ma say the Chinese technology conglomerate will not be able to make good on its promise to create one million U.S. jobs because of increasing tensions between the U.S. and China over trade tariffs.
Reported by Chinese news outlet Xinhua on Wednesday, Ma again warned of the lasting damage a trade war could bring, and urged his compatriots to refocus their export efforts on the “Silk Road” trade route of Africa, Asia and Europe.
When Ma met Donald Trump in 2016, the Chinese business magnate explained Alibaba’s five-year plan to onboard a million small U.S. businesses, and allow them to sell directly to Chinese consumers.
While not elaborating how exactly these jobs would be added, Ma said that he wanted to help U.S. small businesses to grow on Alibaba and its subsidiaries, Taobao and Tmall, citing the fact that any American company that joined one of the three Chinese e-commerce platforms would be obliged to hire at least one person to manage the increased volume of sales.
Ma, speaking to Xinhua on Wednesday said, “This commitment is based on friendly China-U.S. cooperation and the rational and objective premise of bilateral trade. The current situation has already destroyed the original premise. There is no way to deliver the promise.”
Ma’s anti-U.S. declaration left equities investors unconcerned, with shares in Alibaba closing almost 4 percent higher on Wednesday.
On Monday Trump levied a ten percent levy on around 200 billion dollars’ worth of Chinese imports, with threats of a further $267 billion in tariffs should China choose to retaliate.
China’s response? One day later the Asian superpower imposed tariffs of approximately 60 billion dollars on American goods.
Speaking at an investor conference in Shanghai, China’s largest city by population, Ma said, “The U.S. like competition, China likes harmony, they’re two different cultures”.
This article is for educational and informative purposes only and should not be considered as investment or trading advice.