Just hours after the Trump administration slapped a new round of tariffs on Chinese goods worth $200 billion, Ma said the US-China trade war will last not for 20 months or 20 days, but "maybe 20 years". "The current situation has already destroyed the original premise".
"Short term, business communities in China, US, Europe will all be in trouble", Ma said at the event, as quoted by Bloomberg, adding: "If you want a short-term solution, there is no solution".
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.
Ma had met US President Donald Trump two years ago and laid out the Chinese e-commerce giant's plan to bring one million small US businesses onto its platform to sell to Chinese consumers over the next five years.
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. "If China and the United States maintain good economic and trade relations, there will be no problem at all in providing the United States with 1 million jobs or even 10 million jobs", Ma said.
Ma said his commitment relied on friendly cooperation between the US and China, and on the "rational and objective premise of bilateral trade".More news: Brett Kavanaugh: Donald Trump doubts sex assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee
Shares in Alibaba closed 3.5 per cent lower on Monday.
China said it will impose retaliatory tariffs against $60 billion of U.S. goods, ranging from meat to wheat and textiles.
"Middle term, a lot of Chinese business will move to other countries", he warned.
He added USA tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of Chinese products could prompt the country to export elsewhere.
Ma said new trade rules were needed over the longterm.
Ma, the charismatic co-founder of Alibaba, announced last week that he would step down in one year to concentrate on philanthropy and education, passing on the reins to trusted lieutenant Daniel Zhang.