Chinese billionaire Jack Ma said the frosty U.S.-China relations mean Alibaba, the Chinese retail business he co-founded and chairs, will no longer strive to create a million American jobs.
Ma made the comments during an interview with Xinhua. According to a transcribed version of the interview posted to CNBC, Ma is backing away from a promise he made to President Donald Trump in the days before Trump took office in January 2017 that he would create 1 million jobs in the United States.
"The promise was made on the premise of friendly U.S.-China partnership and rational trade relations," Ma said. "That premise no longer exists today, so our promise cannot be fulfilled."
Ma noted that Alibaba will continue "working hard to contribute to the healthy development of China-U.S. trade."
Ma announced earlier this month that he plans to step down as Alibaba chairman in September 2019. According to Forbes, he is worth $36.6 billion.
The Trump administration is in the middle of a trade war with China that includes both sides placing tariffs on each other's products. Trump's end goal is to get rid of tariffs altogether.
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