Alibaba's Jack Ma says US-China trade friction could last 20 years

Credit Dreamstime

Ma expressed his thoughts while speaking at the Alibaba investor conference in Hangzhou shortly after the Trump-led USA administration announced impositions of duty tariffs on an extra $200 billion worth of Chinese imports and China announcing retaliatory measures on import of US products.

Alibaba's Jack Ma used his final speech to shareholders as chairman to issue a warning about the U.S.

"It's going to last long, it's going to be a mess", the tech tycoon said Tuesday at an annual investor conference in Hangzhou, China.

He added that the trade war will last not for 20 months or 20 days, but "maybe 20 years".

The US and China trade war could last 20 years, Alibaba founder Jack Ma said.

Alibaba is no exception and would suffer from the effects of the trade war, however the crisis would also present new opportunities for the company to capitalize, Ma said.

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Highlighting that many Chinese- U.S- and even other countries-based businesses will be hit negatively and instantly, he predicts that Chinese enterprises would be forced to relocate to other nations as a short-term measure to circumvent the problem. Ma expressed need for "new trade rules" over the long-term.

Monday evening, President Donald Trump ordered the US Trade Representative to impose tariffs of 10% on another $US200 billion worth of Chinese goods.

Saying that there is no short term solution to the tariff war between the world's biggest two economies, Ma made a grim forecast and said business communities in China, the U.S., Europe will all be in trouble if the war continues. "We need new trade rules, we need to upgrade the WTO", he said.

He announced last week that he will step down within a year and hand the company reins to chief executive Daniel Zhang.

Ma met with U.S. President Donald Trump previous year in a high-profile meeting where he promised to create 1 million U.S.jobs linked to small merchants selling items on Alibaba platforms.

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