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Ma's comments also followed his surprise announcement - on his 54th birthday last Monday - about retiring next year.

It follows remarks by Mr Ma at Alibaba's investor day that the trade tensions could continue for decades. "But the current situation has already destroyed that basis. There is no way to deliver the promise".

The report says Ma responded that his promise was based on rational growth of China-US trade, but that the basis for trade has been undermined.

China added $60 billion of USA products to its import tariff list on Tuesday to hit back at US duties on $200 billion of Chinese goods that go into effect from September 24. China responded by imposing tariffs on US$60 billion worth of U.S. goods. This article is strictly for informational purposes only.

Ma made headlines in January 2017 when he became the first major Chinese business leader to publicly meet with Trump shortly after the latter won the presidential election but before he assumed the office.

The Alibaba executive chairman said in June that the new generation of financial institutions, using blockchain, will service 80 percent of people and make 20 percent of profit, instead of what traditional financial institutions do, "serve 20 percent of people and make 80 percent of profits".

Trump also warned China against any retaliation, saying if Beijing retaliated this time, the USA would impose further tariffs on another $267 billion worth of products virtually covering nearly all Chinese exports to the United States totalling about $522.9 billion. Rather, he spoke about trade stimulating by helping small businesses in the US sell products they have to consumers in both China and other Asian nations.

Ma, however, said Alibaba "will not stop working hard to contribute to the healthy development of China-US trade".

"But trade is not a weapon and should not be used to start wars - it should be the driver for peace", he said. Analysts have also warned that United States companies selling in China could face nationalist backlash against their products.

Ma, expected to step down as Alibaba chairman in a year, predicted on Tuesday that trade frictions would lead to "a mess" for all parties involved.


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