Alibaba’s Ma calls US-China trade war ‘most stupid thing’

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Alibaba Group co-founder and Executive Chairman Jack Ma gestures during a seminar at the International Monetary Fund - World Bank Annual Meeting 2018 in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia, October 12, 2018. REUTERS/Johannes P. Christo

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – The US-China trade war is the “most stupid thing in this world,” Jack Ma, the chief of Asia’s most valuable public company, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd , said yesterday.

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The two countries have set tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of each other’s goods and US President Donald Trump has threatened to slap tariffs on the remainder of China’s $500 billion-plus exports to the United States if the trade dispute cannot be resolved.

Mr Ma made the comments at the China International Import Expo (CIIE) held in the Chinese commercial hub of Shanghai.

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The US trade deficit with China, which Mr Trump has blamed for a variety of economic ills, has helped create jobs in the US and without it the country would have big problems, Mr Ma added.

China’s shift to an import model is “going to be a huge pain for a lot of businesses, but it’s also going to make a good opportunity for a lot of consumers,” he said.

Mr Ma also said the government should not worry about innovation, which it should back even if it threatened old, vested interests.

“My view is, ‘Don’t worry about technology’,” Mr Ma added. “The people who worry about technology are first, older people, second, government and third, successful people; they hate it and worry about it.

“I never see young people worry about technology.”

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