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

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In a Xinhua News Agency interview published Tuesday, the billionaire business magnate said the jobs promise - originally floated early previous year - had been predicated on a "friendly U.S. -China partnership and rational trade relations", Ma said.

The promise Ma said was based upon friendly U.S.

The businessman said the trade war is "against China" but also criticized Beijing's policies, urging authorities to view the pain inflicted by Trump's tariffs as an opportunity to "upgrade".

"I'm 100% sure Daniel will do a better job than I do", Ma said.

Trump imposed 10 percent tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports on Monday, threatening to place taxes on an additional $267 billion worth of Chinese imports if China attempts to retaliate. "But the current situation has already destroyed that basis".

Alibaba previous year held a conference in Detroit that encouraged small businesses as well as farmers in the sell products they made or farmed to consumers in China through its platforms.

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Ma met with Trump past year and promised to create one million USA jobs linked to small merchants selling items on Alibaba platforms.

In the interview by Xinhua, Ma said that Alibaba would not stop pushing for healthy development of trade between the US and China. "You may win the battle, but you lose the war, " he said at the event held in Hangzhou.

"We should work more in Africa, SEA (South East Asia), Europe", he said.

At Alibaba's annual investor event on Tuesday in Hangzhou, Ma warned that the trade friction between the United States and China will be a protracted affair because it is about two countries competing with each other.

Alibaba Cloud's City Brain solution has been piloted at the company's headquarters in Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang province, since 2017, using artificial intelligence (AI) technology in urban management. On Tuesday, he cautioned China's business and political leaders to prepare for the conflict to last 20 years, beyond the Trump presidency, as the two countries battle for economic supremacy.