HONG KONG: Alibaba founder Jack Ma said his ambitious pledge to create one million jobs in the usa had been scuppered by the trade row between Beijing and Washington, Chinese state news reported Thursday.
Ma said Alibaba could create "1 million jobs over the next five years by enabling 1 million American small businesses and farmers to sell US goods to China and Asian consumers on the Alibaba platform".
Alibaba chairman Jack Ma said that the US-China trade war will wreck the company's pledge to help create 1 million US jobs.
Ma also said that trade should be used as a tool for peace rather than a weapon.
Reiterating the need to focus on long-term plans instead of short-term ones, Ma called the growing dispute a "huge opportunity" and said: "If Alibaba cannot sustain and grow, no company in China can grow".
"The current economic situation is indeed not good, and that could go on longer than people think", Ma said.
Alibaba's move to back down from its promise has come after a further escalation of the trade war between the world's two largest economies.
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.
"Short term, business communities in China, U.S., Europe will all be in trouble", Ma said on Tuesday, during a speech at Alibaba's investor day in Hangzhou.
Against the backdrop of rising trade protectionism, he said that goal has become even more relevant.
Tensions have escalated this week as China vowed to retaliate against United States plans to levy tariffs on about $200 billion in Chinese goods. On Monday, Trump announced a 10% tariff on another $US200 billion worth of Chinese goods.
Last week, Ma announced he would be retiring from the executive chairman position of Alibaba within the next year, and has been planning on leaving for quite some time.