Hong Kong: Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.co-founder Jack Ma said his promise to create 1 million jobs in the US is impossible to fulfill because of the US-China trade war, a setback in one high-profile effort for deeper cooperation between the world's two largest economies.
The billionaire owner of China's largest online shopping portal made the headline-grabbing promise to Donald Trump past year, as Beijing courted the then-newly elected president.
"The promise was made on the premise of friendly US-China partnership and rational trade relations", Ma told Chinese news site Xinhua on Wednesday. -China trade becoming increasingly contentious, the promise can not be fulfilled.
Trump on Monday imposed 10 percent tariffs on about $200 billion worth of imports from China, and threatened duties on about $267 billion more if China retaliated.
At an Alibaba investor conference on Tuesday Ma also called the trade frictions a "mess" that could have decades-long ramifications.More news: Former Sooners quarterback Baker Mayfield leads Browns to first win since 2016
For years, Ma has been pushing his vision of US small businesses selling to Chinese shoppers through his online marketplaces, but many experts have criticized his plan.
Given China's counter-tariffs and the push for Chinese firms to find alternative, non-US sources for goods, the already optimistic pledge would be even more unlikely in the current environment.
"Trade is not a weapon and can not be used for wars", he added, in an exclusive with Xinhua news agency. Next year, Alibaba is planning to launch its first self-developed AI chip to support a cloud-based IoT infrastructure.
Reports surfaced earlier this month that Alibaba was scaling back its cloud expansion in the us following disappointing returns and growing tensions between the two global superpowers.
China placed tariffs on about $60 billion worth of US products the next day as previously planned, though it reduced the size of the tariffs. On Tuesday, Beijing came back with tariffs on another $60 billion worth of United States goods.
"America was the early mover and China, we need a lot of things".