Jack Ma: I'm not worried about anti-China sentiment on US campaign trail

Jack Ma: I'm not worried about anti-China sentiment on US campaign trail

Alibaba founder Jack Ma told CNBC on Thursday he's not worried about anti-China sentiment on the US campaign trail because people will come to their senses after the election.

"I'm 52 years old now. I've seen a lot of American presidential elections, and every time before the elections, they are always anti-China," the executive chairman of the Chinese e-commerce giant said. "Many years ago [they were] anti-Soviet Union, now [they are] anti-China."

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump frequently says America will "win" against China if he is elected president, and he accuses the country for currency manipulation and intellectual property theft. Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton has called out China for its "aggressive actions" in the Asia-Pacific region.

Both candidates have struck an anti-globalisation tone and say they oppose a trade deal among 12 Pacific Rim nations supported by President Barack Obama. China is not a party to the deal.

Ma, an outspoken proponent of globalisation, will present his plan for a Electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP), an online exchange to help promote global trade, at this week's G-20 meeting in Hangzhou, China. The eWTP's goal, according to Ma, would be to help small businesses buy and sell abroad over the Internet and have access to special free trade zones in various countries.

"I think globalisation is a great thing ... [but it] is not perfect ... we have to improve globalisation. Now this period is called the growing pain of globalisation," he told CNBC on the sidelines of the meeting. "The last 20 years, globalisation was helping big companies, developed nations."

A key component of the anti-globalisation tone seen around the world is anti-trade sentiment, which is frequently directed towards countries such as China and India, where the relative cost of production is lower. Common arguments put forward against free trade include foreign companies undercutting local businesses by selling goods at a much cheaper price, and local jobs being outsourced by multinationals to countries where the labour cost is much lower.

But Ma disagreed, likening trade to freedom. "Trade is something [that] killed the wars...[it is] a communication of cultures and values."

A reversal of globalisation due to the rise of anti-trade rhetoric and increasing protectionism would prove to be a "disaster" for the world, according to Ma, particularly for the younger generation.

Alibaba is one of China's most valuable technology behemoths, with notable success in establishing an e-commerce service that has seen transactions carried out by third-party sellers on its platforms amount to as much as 837 billion yuan in its latest results.

Globally, Alibaba's competitors include the likes of Amazon and e-Bay.

"Somebody has to stand up and say hey, we should not be anti-trade," said Ma.

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