Beijing [China], Sept 21: Alibaba founder Jack Ma has backed off on his promise of creating one million jobs in the United States due to the ongoing trade war between Beijing and Washington.
Citing CNN, Ma told Xinhua that the waves of tariffs slapped by the two countries in the past few months had forced him to abandon the plan.
“This promise was on the basis of friendly China-US cooperation and reasonable bilateral trade relations, but the current situation has already destroyed that basis. This promise can’t be completed,” the Chinese tech tycoon remarked.
Ma had earlier made the pledge of creating a million American jobs when he had met then US president-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower in New York last year.
However, the 54-year-old said that Alibaba “will not stop promoting the healthy development of China-US trade.”
Earlier this week, Ma had given a grave warning that the trade war between China and the US could last as long as 20 years. He made the comments at the company’s investor day conference in Hangzhou on Monday, just a few hours before the Donald Trump administration slapped 10 per cent tariffs on Chinese goods amounting to USD 200 billion.
“Business communities in China, the US and Europe will be all in trouble in the short term. It’s going to last long, it’s going to be a mess. The trade war will not last for just 20 days or 20 months, but maybe 20 years,” Ma had said.
The Chinese tech mogul, who founded Alibaba in 1999, had announced earlier this month that he would step down as the executive chairman next year. The current Chief Executive Order (CEO) of the company, Daniel Zhang, will succeed him.
Ma, who was a former English teacher, had said that he wanted to return to teaching.