China’s complains of ‘serious’ U.S. protectionism

Expert: IoT Botnets the Work of a ‘Vast Minority’
January 24, 2018
Google to open tech center near Lisbon, creating 500 jobs – prime minister
January 24, 2018
This post was originally published on this site

DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) – The head of China’s second-biggest e-commerce company, Inc, accused the United States on Wednesday of practicing “serious” protectionism against Chinese firms and said this would ultimately backfire on the world’s largest economy.

“Many friends from other countries discuss protectionism in China but I think things have completely reversed,” Chairman and Chief Executive Richard Liu said at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

“One day it will hurt the U.S. economy too,” said Liu, whose $67 billion online retailer competes with bigger rival Alibaba Group Holding.

The United States on Tuesday slapped steep import tariffs on washing machines and solar panels in moves billed as a way to protect American jobs by President Donald Trump. They sparked condemnations from China and South Korea.

The U.S. government also recently rejected Chinese firm Ant Financial’s plan to acquire U.S. money transfer firm MoneyGram International Inc over national security concerns, the most high-profile Chinese deal to be torpedoed under the Trump administration.

The U.S. government has toughened its stance on the sale of American companies to Chinese entities, at a time of already tense trade ties, with Washington vowing to narrow a large trade deficit with China which reached $347 billion in 2016.

Liu said Nasdaq-listed not only wants to overtake Alibaba as the largest online retailer in China, but also become a global player. But like other Chinese CEOs, he said he had found it difficult to make forays into the U.S. market.

For now, the company is focused on Southeast Asia, and would look to grow in the region both organically and by acquisition.

“It’s hard to use only one model. In Southeast Asia, we look for local partners to develop business, but we don’t want to exclude acquisitions,” Liu said.

In January, said it had made an investment in Vietnamese e-commerce firm, the latest move in a strategic push into the region where Alibaba and Amazon have also made significant investments in the past year.

Reporting by Soyoung Kim; Editing by Mark Bendeich