Jack Ma has spoken. The founder and executive chairman of Alibaba announced on Tuesday that he would no longer be creating one million jobs in the United States, following the country’s trade war with China.
He made the statement after the US announced its latest tariffs on USD200 billion worth of Chinese goods.
In an interview with Xinhua, Ma said his promise was based on friendly cooperation between the two countries. “However, the previous basis for trade has been undermined,” said Ma.
The jobs would have been export-oriented, according to the Financial Times.
Ma remains confident despite the escalation in tensions between China and the US. He predicts a global shift in trade relations following the dispute, urging companies to think long-term, as the conflict could continue for 20 years, Bloomberg reports.
Chart by Ryan Gandolfo/That's. Data from Statista. *ASEAN stands for Association of Southeast Asian Nations
The chart above shows the respective share of exports China sends to other countries. The US, their primary trading partner, is responsible for 19 percent of all Chinese exports.
“We should not focus on this quarter or next quarter or next year’s profit. This is a huge opportunity,” Ma said. “If Alibaba cannot sustain and grow, no company in China can grow. I’m 100 percent confident in that.”
If the trade war persists, businesses around the world could be forced to rethink their strategies. Chinese companies may need to shift away from the US market and turn their attention to other parts of the globe, like Southeast Asia and Africa.
[Cover image via UNclimatechange/Flickr]