Alibaba boosting AI and quantum hardware, SAP cloud partnership

Alibaba's Ma Creating 1 mil. US jobs difficult

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

At a two-day event bringing together Alibaba's investors, Ma told the Chinese news website Xinhua that the promise "was made on the premise of friendly U.S-China partnership and rational trade relations". -China trade becoming increasingly contentious, the promise can not be fulfilled.

On Monday, Trump announced that the U.S. would impose 10 per cent tariffs on an additional US$200 billion worth of Chinese products from September 24, with the tariff rate increasing to 25 per cent on January 1 next year unless China makes concessions.

China's state-run Xinhua News Agency reported the words of the chief of the Chinese e-commerce giant.

For years, Ma has been pushing his vision of USA small businesses selling to Chinese shoppers through his online marketplaces, but many experts have criticized his plan. "But the current situation has already destroyed that basis". At the World Artificial Intelligence Conference in China on Monday, Ma showed he maintains high hopes in distributed ledger technology, according to the China Money Network.

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"The promise was made based on China and the U.S. having a collaborative and friendly relationship", he said in the Xinhua interview.

He said that trade is not a weapon and shouldn't be used for wars.

Some analysts and American businesses are now concerned China could resort to other means of retaliation such as pressuring US companies operating in China. Beijing hit back on Tuesday with levies on $60 billion of U.S. products.

Ma, expected to step down as Alibaba chairman in a year, predicted on Tuesday that trade frictions would lead to "a mess" for all parties involved. Analysts have also warned that USA companies selling in China could face nationalist backlash against their products.

He claimed US President Donald Trump's escalating tariffs battle with Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping has "ruined" his pledge, adding: "But we won't stop working hard to promote the healthy development of Sino-US trade".

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