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Jack Ma walks back promise to create 1M US jobs

Alibaba Chairman Jack Ma on Wednesday walked back his 2017 promise to create 1 million US jobs.

The founder of the Chinese e-commerce giant said he couldn’t follow through on his promise because of the soured US-China trade relations, according to a report.

In January 2017, just before President Trump was sworn in, Ma met the then President-elect at Trump Tower and laid out his company’s plan to bring 1 million small US businesses onto its platform to sell to Chinese consumers over the next five years.

“Jack and I are going to do great things — small business,” Trump said at the time. “[Ma] loves this country, and he loves China.”

Trump’s decision on Monday to impose 10 percent tariffs on $200 billion worth of imports from China “destroyed” any hopes for those great things, according to Ma.

“This commitment is based on friendly China-US cooperation and the rational and objective premise of bilateral trade,” he told China’s Xinhua news agency on Wednesday.

“The current situation has already destroyed the original promise.” Ma said.

Ma — who earlier this month revealed he will soon step down from his position to pursue interests in philanthropy and education — said on Tuesday that trade tensions between the US and China could last for two decades and would be “a mess” for all parties involved.

In addition to the tariffs, Trump threatened duties on about $267 billion more if China retaliated against the US action.

China responded a day later with tariffs on about $60 billion worth of US goods as previously planned, but reduced the level of tariffs that it will collect on the products.

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