Jack Ma warns US-China trade tension could last 20 years


The trade dispute, which has been going on for more than a year and a half, has already ensnared more than 70 per cent of bilateral trade in goods. If the two countries can’t resolve at least some of their differences in the coming weeks, the White House on December 15 will add 15 per cent punitive tariffs on $US160 billion ($236 billion) in Chinese imports.

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China-based Alibaba, one of Asia’s biggest companies, is expected to ride out the storm better than some, thanks to booming online consumption in the world’s No. 2 economy. But Alibaba saw its stock dip earlier this year on reports that the Trump administration was weighing a limit on US government pension funds buying Chinese stocks.

Ma, 55, formally left Alibaba earlier this year, 20 years after founding the e-commerce giant. He is China’s richest man with a net worth of $US38.4 billion, according to Forbes, and says he wants to spend more time on philanthropy and education.

The company held its annual online ‘Singles’ Day’ sale earlier this week, its first without Ma at the helm. Ma, who is the company’s biggest shareholder, said the result “missed expectations”, sending the its share price tumbling.

The internet giant listed shares in New York in 2014, in the biggest ever initial public offering. It’s now readying a share sale in Hong Kong that could raise almost $US12 billion. Ma sees the listing as a way to curry favour with Beijing while hedging against trade war risks.

Bloomberg



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