Published: Thu, September 20, 2018
Markets | By Otis Pena

China's Alibaba Scraps Plan to Create 1M US Jobs

China's Alibaba Scraps Plan to Create 1M US Jobs

Alibaba's executive chairman Jack Ma has said that his promise to Donald Trump to create one million jobs in the usa is no longer valid and viable after Washington slapped Beijing with new round of tariffs on $200bn worth of goods.

The billionaire owner of China's largest online shopping portal made the headline-grabbing promise to Mr Donald Trump past year, as Beijing courted the then-newly elected president.

Ma said his commitment relied on friendly cooperation between the US and China, and on the "rational and objective premise of bilateral trade".

"But we will continue to work hard to promote the healthy development of China-US trade".

But in an interview published late Wednesday by China's official news agency, Xinhua, Ma said the waves of new tariffs imposed by Washington and Beijing in recent months have undermined the plan.

One million jobs would be close to 1% of all jobs in the USA - meaning that successfully delivering would make Alibaba one of the country's largest private employers.

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He added US tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of Chinese products could prompt the country to export elsewhere.

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

Mr Ma pointed to business opportunities in other regions such as Europe, South America, Russia and Africa, Xinhua said.

"There are still many things that Chinese companies should and can do".

At an Alibaba investor conference Tuesday, Ma described the state of economic relations between the two countries as a "mess" with consequences that could last for decades. He said that trade is not a weapon and shouldn't be used for wars. "Trade should be the propeller of peace".

Ma, the charismatic co-founder of Alibaba, announced last week that he would step down in one year to concentrate on philanthropy and education, passing on the reins to trusted lieutenant Daniel Zhang. The 54-year-old former teacher repeated his desire to pursue a new career, likely in the field of education.

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