1Tech tycoon Jack Ma told investors to hunker down for a drawn out trade war
between the United States and China.
"It's going to last long, it's going to be a mess," Ma, the founder and
executive chairman of Alibaba (BABA), said Tuesday.
The US-China trade war will last not for 20 months or 20 days, but "maybe 20
years," he said.
That would mean no easing of tensions between the world's top two economies
for many years after President Donald Trump has left office, even if he
serves a second term.
Ma made the remarks at an annual conference for Alibaba investors, just
hours after the Trump administration slapped a new round of tariffs on
Chinese goods worth $200 billion.
While the tech billionaire dismissed speculation that geopolitical headwinds
played a part in the surprise announcement of his retirement last week, he
acknowledged that the ongoing spat with China's largest trade partner is
hurting Alibaba's business.
Shares in Alibaba closed 3.5% lower on Monday. The company's stock is down
25% from its all-time high in June.
Ma said a lot of businesses in China and the United States will be in
trouble in the short term, and eventually, Chinese firms will be forced to
turn to other countries.
Ma said the trade war is "against China," but also criticized his country's
policies, urging leaders to view the pain inflicted by Trump's tariffs as an
opportunity to "upgrade."
"China must open the market," he added.