Alibaba's Ma says 1m US jobs pledge thwarted by trade row

Alibaba CEO Jack Ma answers questions during a media conference at the De La Salle University in Manila

Alibaba CEO Jack Ma answers questions during a media conference at the De La Salle University in Manila

Alibaba Chairman Jack Ma said Wednesday that the Chinese e-commerce giant had canceled plans to create 1 million jobs in the US, blaming the ongoing trade war for the decision, according to Chinese news agency Xinhua.

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.

In Xinhua's exclusive interview, Ma was asked if he could deliver on the promise he made in a meeting with US President Donald Trump previous year. Conway G. Gittens reports.

Earlier this week the United States imposed a 10 per cent tariff on another $200bn (£152bn) of Chinese goods, meaning it now taxes over $500bn of Chinese exports to the US. Alibaba countered that it had taken aggressive steps to tackle the problem, and said it had become a scapegoat under a USA protectionist agenda.

He said business opportunities are still bountiful in the world, such as in Europe, South America, Russia and Africa.

At an Alibaba investor conference on Tuesday Ma also called the trade frictions a "mess" that could have decades-long ramifications.

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Trump cited the memo in the firing, and he began telling people that he feared he had been used". Rosenstein was serious, and he replied animatedly that he was.

Besides Jack, Alibaba's top executives, including cloud head Simon Hu, technology steering committee chairman Wang Jian and chief technology officer Jeff Zhng would deliver keynotes on breakthroughs and the company's roadmap to develop emerging technologies.

The physical manufacturing will not vanish, but the backward one will, Ma said, speaking in terms of a time frame of 10 to fifteen years.

China said it will impose retaliatory tariffs against $60 billion of USA goods, ranging from meat to wheat and textiles.

He said he would work closely with the company's next generation of leaders to ensure a smooth transition and is full of confidence about Alibaba's future.

A spokesperson for Alibaba, the largest e-commerce company in China, confirmed the comments by Ma.

Ma has emerged as a champion of free trade as he tries to bring goods from around the world to Chinese consumers over the popular online malls operated by Alibaba.

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