The founder of Chinese e-commerce giant – Alibaba, Jack Ma, has given a grave warning that the trade war between China and the United States could last as long as 20 years.
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 per cent tariffs on Chinese goods amounting to $200 billion, agencies reported.
“Business communities in China, the US and Europe will be all in trouble in the short term. It’s going to last long, it’s going to be a mess. The trade war will not last for just 20 days or 20 months, but maybe 20 years,” Ma said.
However, the 54-year-old tech tycoon said that the trade war is “against China” and hit out at his country’s policies, calling on Chinese leaders to see the damage inflicted by Trump’s tariff salvo, as an opportunity to “upgrade.”
The tariffs imposed by the US are set to come into effect from September 24 with the 10 per cent level, which will be increased to 25 per cent from next year. It will affect thousands of Chinese goods, including food seasonings, network routers, baseball gloves and industrial machinery parts.
Earlier on Tuesday, China had retaliated by slapping tariffs on $60 billion of American products and its state council announced that the new tariffs would be imposed at rates of 5 per cent or 10 per cent, depending upon the product from the same date.
The new round of tariffs by Beijing will affect over 5,000 US goods, ranging from meat, chemicals, nuts, alcoholic drinks, clothes, machinery, furniture and automobile parts, in a move that would further escalate the trade war between the world’s largest two economies.