Alibaba Pulling Back on Million US Job Proposal Due to Trade War

Alibaba Pulling Back on Million US Job Proposal Due to Trade War

Alibaba Pulling Back on Million US Job Proposal Due to Trade War

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.co-founder Jack Ma said his promise to create 1 million jobs in the US is impossible to fulfil because of the US-China trade war, a setback in one high-profile effort for deeper cooperation between the world's two largest economies.

On Wednesday Ma told Xinhua, a Chinese news site, "The current situation has already destroyed the original premise". 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.

Ma's bold promise following his January 2017 meeting at Trump Tower was greeted with scepticism by analysts at the time, who said the move was more about good PR than substance.

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For years, Ma has been pushing his vision of usa small businesses selling to Chinese shoppers through his online marketplaces, but many experts have criticized his plan.

This week, Mr Trump said he would press ahead with 10 per cent levies on US$200 billion (S$273 billion) of imports - on top of US$50 billion already targeted - prompting Beijing to target another US$60 billion of United States goods with 5 to 10 per cent taxes.

Ma's appearance on Tuesday was his first appearance in front of investors after announcing his plans to step down as Alibaba executive chairman on September 10, 2019. "The trade war will not last for just 20 days or 20 months, but maybe 20 years", Ma said.

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Ma's latest comments come on top of others he recently made about the escalating trade skirmish and show his support for Beijing's stance on how additional tariffs will affect businesses and the country's cornerstone One Belt One Road foreign policy initiative.

Ma also said in the interview that he will keep making efforts to push for the healthy development of bilateral trade ties.

Mr Ma pointed to business opportunities in other regions such as Europe, South America, Russia and Africa, Xinhua said. He said that trade is not a weapon and shouldn't be used for wars.

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