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US-China trade tensions could last 20 years: Alibaba billionaire Jack Ma

HANGZHOU, CHINA - AUGUST 28: Alibaba Group Chairman Jack Ma speaks during 2019 Global Conference on Women and Entrepreneurship on August 28, 2019 in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province of China. (Photo by VCG/VCG via Getty Images)

The co-founder of Alibaba Group, Jack Ma has called for caution as the US-China trade tensions continue, warning that the “turbulence” could last 20 years otherwise. 

The US$38.4 billion tech businessman said that even if a major trade war didn’t last that long, the diplomatic ramifications could echo for decades. 

"We have to be very, very careful," Ma said in an interview with Bloomberg TV. "We have to solve problems, we should not create more problems."

The China-US trade dispute has already lasted more than 18 months, with Ma previously labelling the conflict “the most stupid thing”, and warned that the US would suffer more in the conflict. 

Ma in 2017 had also pledged to create a million new jobs in the US but pulled out in September 2018, arguing that the “current situation has already destroyed the original premise” for those plans. 

According to Harvard University research, Ma isn’t entirely wrong either, with the US already having suffered more than China. 

Shipping data recently released also shows the varying damage. US exports to China from Los Angeles have dropped for 12 months in a row, now down 19.1 per cent in October compared to October 2019. 

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