HANGZHOU - Alibaba chairman Jack Ma said efforts should be made to promote the healthy development of China-US trade even though it is hard to fulfill his previous promise of creating 1 million jobs for the United States under current circumstances.
In an exclusive interview with Xinhua on Tuesday, Ma said his promise was based on friendly cooperation between China and the United States and a rational growth of China-US trade.
"However, the previous basis for trade has been undermined," he said. "But we will continue to work hard to promote the healthy development of China-US trade."
Trade is not a weapon and cannot be used for wars, he added. "Trade should be the propeller of peace."
Alibaba has always worked toward the goal of "making doing business easy and fun." Against the backdrop of rising trade protectionism and anti-globalization, Ma said the goal has become even more relevant.
He said the younger generation and new leadership in Alibaba will go straight ahead toward the goal, even after he steps down.
"Good entrepreneurs and companies all have their times of difficulties, and the best companies are often born in difficult times or have gone through such times," Ma said.
He said business opportunities are still bountiful in the world, such as in Europe, South America, Russia and Africa. China is also furthering its reform and improving the business environment.
"There are still many things that Chinese companies should and can do. They still have many opportunities despite the trade frictions between China and the US," Ma said.
Ma also stayed confident about the company's future after announcing his plan of stepping down.
Ma announced in an open letter on Sept 10 that he would retire as the chairman of the board on Sept 10, 2019, Alibaba's 20th anniversary, adding that the company CEO Daniel Zhang will take over as the chairman of the board.