Alibaba's Jack Ma says US-China trade friction could last 20 years

Published: September 18, 2018
Ma said new trade rules were needed over the longterm.


Ma said new trade rules were needed over the longterm. PHOTO: REUTERS

SHANGHAI: Alibaba chairman Jack Ma said on Tuesday that trade frictions between the United States and China could last for two decades and would be ‘a mess’ for all parties involved, citing weak trade rules.

Ma was speaking at an Alibaba investor conference hours after Washington said it would impose duties on an extra $200 billion worth of Chinese imports, drawing a warning from Beijing that it would retaliate.

Jack Ma to unveil succession strategy  

Ma said trade tensions would likely impact Chinese and foreign companies immediately and negatively. He predicted that Chinese businesses would move production to other countries in the medium-term to get around the tariffs.

“You may win the battle, but you lose the war,” Ma said at the shareholder event in Hangzhou.

“Middle term, a lot of Chinese business will move to other countries,” he added.

Alibaba’s Jack Ma to step down in 2019, pledges smooth transition

Ma said new trade rules were needed over the longterm.

“Even if Donald Trump retired, the new president will come, it will still continue…We need new trade rules, we need to upgrade the WTO,” he said, referring to the World Trade Organization.

Ma made the comments in what he said was his last speech to shareholders as chairman of the Chinese internet giant.

He announced last week that he will step down within a year and hand the company reins to chief executive Daniel Zhang.

Alibaba, agree joint e-commerce venture

Ma met with US President Donald Trump last year in a high-profile meeting where he promised to create 1 million US jobs linked to small merchants selling items on Alibaba platforms.

Trade relations have since deteriorated between China and the US in a tit-for-tat escalation in tariffs

Facebook Conversations

More in Business