Alibaba, the world’s biggest commerce group, delivered a stark warning to incoming US president Donald Trump that any upsets in China relations would be detrimental for the US and ripple across the globe.
Joe Tsai, vice chairman of Alibaba, warned that the rest of the world looked to the US for economic leadership and that any disengagement would be harmful – particularly in the case of China, writes Louse Lucas.
“If Chinese investors cannot invest in the US and create more jobs in the US, then [as president] you would be in trouble. We think the relationship between China and the US will define our century and be crucial for both countries, as well as the rest of the world,” he said.
“The relationship between the US and China is absolutely crucial for everybody in the world,” he said, noting that China created an additional $700bn of net wealth a year, or more than America’s $200bn, based on economic growth.
“That means China is going to be, and already is, the source of consumer demand and the source of capital for America.”
Taiwan-born and US educated Mr Tsai was speaking on the eve of Singles Day, the world’s biggest shopping bonanza. Last year it pulled in $14.3bn and this year sees Alibaba taking the first steps to globalising the event.
Alibaba, one of China’s BAT tech trinity along with Baidu and Tencent, is the biggest tech giant to voice concerns ahead of the new US Presidency but fears are lurking more broadly in the sector.
Putative Chinese takeovers of US companies in the sector – including some in far from cutting edge areas like light bulbs – have already been blocked by US regulators and fears are that a Trump presidency may see a ramp up in quashed deals.
Mr Tsai added: “When you are in the position of president you have a responsibility to look out for your country and the best solution for America is to engage with the rest of the world because we live in a global market place”
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