On Tuesday, Beijing came back with tariffs on another $US60 billion worth of U.S. goods.
"In the future, the manufacturing industry will be "Made In Internet", said Ma, adding that trade will no longer be about containers but rather packages.
Alibaba's move to back down from its promise has come after a further escalation of the trade war between the world's two largest economies.
Ma had met US President Donald Trump two years ago and laid out the Chinese e-commerce giant's plan to bring one million small US businesses onto its platform to sell to Chinese consumers over the next five years.More news: Viral Aussie emu-killer arrested & charged with animal cruelty
Ma told Xinhua he believes trade should never be used as a "weapon".
Ma expressed his thoughts while speaking at the Alibaba investor conference in Hangzhou shortly after the Trump-led USA administration announced impositions of duty tariffs on an extra $200 billion worth of Chinese imports and China announcing retaliatory measures on import of us products.
He had hoped that access to Chinese consumers through his retailer's online platform would help USA businesses grow to the point they could hire another 1m workers.
"We should work more in Africa, SEA (South East Asia), Europe", he said.More news: Hostos honors students who helped rebuild Puerto Rico
Previously, Ma promised a large expansion in the United States entirely contingent on trade relations remaining normalized. When commenting about his coming retirement, Ma says he has been prepared for it for over 10 years.
Ma announced in an open letter on September 10 that he would retire as the chairman of the board on September 10, 2019, Alibaba's 20th anniversary, adding that the company CEO Daniel Zhang will take over as the chairman of the board. Ma will be succeeded by CEO Daniel Zhang, an 11-year veteran of the company.
Donald Trump and Jack Ma met in NY in January 2017. "This kind of thing happens, it's very natural". "Otherwise we will never choose the name Alibaba, we'd choose another insane Chinese name that people don't understand".
Besides Jack, Alibaba's top executives, including cloud head Simon Hu, technology steering committee chairman Wang Jian and chief technology officer Jeff Zhng would deliver keynotes on breakthroughs and the company's roadmap to develop emerging technologies.More news: Google signs deal for biggest auto alliance to use Android