KUALA LUMPUR: Executive chairman of Alibaba Jack Ma said today the US-China trade war will cause problems for many countries, not just China and the US.
“It is going to affect all countries with relationships with the US and China,” he said in a video-call at the South China Morning Post-organised “China Conference” in Kuala Lumpur.
He said he was “very concerned” that the US would “suffer more” from this trade war.
“In the past 20 to 30 years, the US economy grew so fast because of their trade deficit,” he added.
Ma predicted that the trade war will “last very long”. He called on China and the US to work together to solve the issue.
“The solution for that and the shaper of the trade, is technology,” he added.
He noted that the big advantage Asia had over others was its confidence in technology and the internet.
Comparing Asia’s acceptance of technology with Europe, he said: “In Europe, people worry about technology such as the internet. They think more about how to control or make regulations.”
In Asia, however, he said, the discussion was more about how to make the internet and technology more inclusive.
“Not only entrepreneurs, but the governments, take very special interest in technology.”
Ma specifically commended Malaysia for having a special group of government officers discussing e-commerce.
Malaysian Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng has been reported as saying that the US-China trade war may benefit Malaysia in the short-term.
Lim said Malaysia’s diplomatic position with both countries would provide the country with unique opportunities.
Recently, the South China Morning Post reported China’s Commerce Minister Zhong Shan as saying China would not cave in to US demands even if it faced further tariffs on its exports.
The US-China trade war reportedly began when US President Donald Trump imposed tariffs on US$34 billion or over RM141 billion worth of Chinese goods.
China hit back by imposing duties on US$50 billion of US products. The US has imposed three rounds of tariffs on Chinese products this year, totalling US$250 billion worth of goods. And China has replied by imposing tariffs on more US goods.