China's Alibaba doubles down on chips amid cloud computing push

Cornelia Mascio
Settembre 20, 2018

The Chinese firm said at an event in Hangzhou on Wednesday that the new subsidiary would make customised AI chips and embedded processors to support the firm's push into fast-growing cloud and internet of things (IoT) businesses.

Alibaba founder Jack Ma said the Chinese company will no longer create one million new jobs in America, as he had previously promised U.S. President Donald Trump due to the rocky trade relationship between the two nations.

The economic situation is not good, and that could last for a long time, Ma said at the World Economic Forum in Tianjin.

Ma said his commitment relied on friendly cooperation between the USA and China, and on the "rational and objective premise of bilateral trade".

Ma and Trump met in January 2017 to discuss how adding small and medium-sized United States businesses to Alibaba's platform would boost employment.

Trump on Monday imposed 10 percent tariffs on about $200 billion worth of imports from China, and threatened duties on about $267 billion more if China retaliated against the USA action.

Ma in April doubled down on his pledge, claiming 10 million jobs could be created "if China and the USA maintain good trade relations".

A spokeswoman for Alibaba, China's biggest e-commerce company, confirmed Ma's comments to CNN.

Earlier on Tuesday, China had retaliated by slapping tariffs on Dollars 60 billion of American products and its state council announced that the new tariffs would be imposed at rates of 5% or 10%, depending upon the product from the same date. He predicted that Chinese businesses would move production to other countries in the medium-term to get around the tariffs.

Previously, Ma promised a large expansion in the U.S. entirely contingent on trade relations remaining normalized.

"We should work more in Africa, SEA (South East Asia), Europe", he said.

Ma, the charismatic co-founder of Alibaba, announced last week that he would step down in one year to concentrate on philanthropy and education, passing on the reins to trusted lieutenant Daniel Zhang.

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