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Alibaba's Jack Ma walks back on a million U.S. jobs offer

By Sheetal Sukhija, Taiwan's News
20 Sep 2018, 23:53 GMT+10

BEIJING, China - Alibaba Chairman Jack Ma, who recently warned that the trade war between the world’s two largest economies could last decades, has now walked back on a promise he made last year.

Jack Ma promised the U.S. President Donald Trump in a meeting in January 2017, that he would create 1 million U.S. jobs.

However, now, Ma has clarified that the company can no longer meet its promise to create 1 million jobs in the U.S. due to U.S.-China trade tensions.

In an interview with the Chinese news agency Xinhua, Ma said, “This commitment is based on friendly China-U.S. cooperation and the rational and objective premise of bilateral trade. The current situation has already destroyed the original premise. There is no way to deliver the promise.”

While making the announcement, Ma had not detailed how he would add the promised million jobs.

However, he had pointed out that he wanted to encourage American small businesses to sell on Alibaba marketplace Tmall and Taobao.

He had also argued that every new business that joined the platform would have to hire a person to manage the extra sales.

Following his announcement, Alibaba shares, that have declined 5.7 percent so far this year, closed up 3.8 percent on Wednesday. 

The move by Jack Ma comes directly after Trump issued his third round of tariffs worth 10 percent on $200 billion worth of imports from China.

Trump has also threatened duties on about $267 billion more if China retaliated.

Following Trump's tariffs, China responded with tariffs on about $60 billion worth of U.S. goods.

However, Beijing reduced the level of tariffs it will collect on the products.

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