Chinese tech giant Alibaba will no longer bring the 1 million jobs it had promised to the US because the hostile trade environment created by President Donald Trump and his ongoing tariff conflict with China has made such a plan impossible, the company's co-founder and chairman Jack Ma announced this week. "The situation now has completely destroyed our premise, so it can no longer be completed".
"The promise was made based on China and the U.S. having a collaborative and friendly relationship", he said in the Xinhuainterview.
Manufacturing sector will be completely transformed through the artificial intelligence era, according to Jack Ma, Alibaba Group Holding's executive chairman.
He added US tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of Chinese products could prompt the country to export elsewhere.
"There is no way to complete the promise, but we will not stop our efforts and will work hard to promote the healthy development of Sino-US trade".
"I don't want to die in the office, I'd rather die on the beach", Ma said on Thursday during an event at a World Economic Forum summit in the Chinese coastal city of Tianjin.
In April, Mr Ma doubled down on his pledge, claiming 10 million jobs could be created "if China and the U.S. maintain good trade relations".
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"Trade is not a weapon for war, but a propeller of peace", Ma said.
Mr Ma pointed to business opportunities in other regions such as Europe, South America, Russia and Africa, Xinhua said.
He made the comments at the company's investor day conference in Hangzhou on Monday, just a few hours before the Donald Trump administration slapped 10% tariffs on Chinese goods amounting to United States dollars 200 billion, CNNMoney reported.
China has retaliated by raising its own tariffs on US-made products.
Alibaba bought a Chinese microchip maker Hangzhou C-SKY Microsystems to help bolster its cloud-based "internet of things" (IoT) business.
Ma announced earlier this month that he would step down as chairman of the country's top e-commerce company next September and focus more on philanthropy. This should come as no surprise, as he is now China's richest man. Ma has a reputation for speaking his mind, and while optimistic, analysts called into question his figure of one million jobs, thinking of this as a relatively lofty goal over five years.
"I´m just 54, and I still have at least 16 years to do something new", Ma told Xinhua.
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