Alibaba's Jack Ma rules out comeback after he steps down next year

Galtero Lara
Setiembre 22, 2018

At Alibaba's annual investor event on Tuesday in Hangzhou, Ma warned that the trade friction between the U.S. and China will be a protracted affair because it is about two countries competing with each other.

Ma met US President Donald Trump past year and promised to create a million US jobs linked to small businesses selling items on Alibaba platforms.

But the trade dispute between the world's top two economies has swiftly escalated since Mr Trump took office, with a series of tit-for-tat tariffs brought on billions of dollars' worth of goods by both countries. Instead of building factories, or establishing Alibaba operation centers in the USA, the Chinese billionaire expressed hope that small American businesses can sell goods to consumers in China thereby creating more domestic jobs in the US.

He added: "The trade in the world really needs to be perfected, but trade is not a weapon, it can not be used for war, it should be a propeller for peace".

The planned creation of the chip subsidiary is believed to be part of Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma's efforts to help reduce China's dependence on US technologies.

Given the relative lack of talks between the two sides, the likelihood of the trade war subsiding anytime soon is slim.

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Highlighting that many Chinese- U.S- and even other countries-based businesses will be hit negatively and instantly, he predicts that Chinese enterprises would be forced to relocate to other nations as a short-term measure to circumvent the problem.

He said Alibaba has always worked towards the goal of "making it easy and fun to do business".

Ma, expected to step down as Alibaba chairman in a year, predicted on Tuesday that trade frictions would lead to "a mess" for all parties involved.

Donald Trump and Jack Ma met in NY in January 2017.

"In the future, the manufacturing industry will be "Made In Internet", said Ma, adding that trade will no longer be about containers but rather packages.

"The current economic situation is indeed not good, and that could go on longer than people think", Ma said.

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