China trade war could last 20 years, warns Jack Ma

Galtero Lara
Setiembre 19, 2018

Citing weak trade rules, he further added that it would be "a mess" for all parties involved and is likely to go on for "maybe 20 years", according to Reuters. Ma said. "There is no way to deliver the promise".

There was even more concern when Jack Ma announced he would retire as chairman of Alibaba next year, leaving CEO Daniel Zhang to take his place.

Mr. Ma spoke Tuesday at an Alibaba investor conference in Hangzhou, hours after Washington said it would impose duties on an extra US$200-billion worth of Chinese imports, which drew a warning from Beijing that it would retaliate.

The new round of tariffs by Beijing will affect over 5,000 U.S. 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.

He predicted that Chinese businesses would move production to other countries in the medium-term to get around the tariffs. While admitting that the trade war had been damaging for Alibaba's $410 billion business, Ma pledged the company would ultimately come out on top.

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Ma believes that a change of leadership may not solve the problem. However, the 54-year-old tech tycoon said that the trade war is "against China" and hit out at his country's policies, calling on Chinese leaders to see the damage inflicted by Trump's tariff salvo, as an opportunity to "upgrade".

Ma said that the USA -initiated trade war is "against China", and also disapproved his country's policies requesting the leaders to open up the market and seize the situation as an opportunity to upgrade.

Reiterating the need to focus on long-term plans instead of short-term ones, Ma called the growing dispute a "huge opportunity" and said: "If Alibaba cannot sustain and grow, no company in China can grow".

Mr. Ma met with Mr. Trump a year ago in a high-profile meeting where he promised to create one million linked to small merchants selling items on Alibaba platforms. "I'm 100 percent confident in that".

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