Alibaba's Jack Ma says US-China trade friction could last 20 years

Alibaba’s Jack Ma used his final speech to shareholders as chairman to issue a warning about the U.S.-China trade tensions.

Ma said that the tensions between the two countries could last for two decades and that it would be “a mess” for all parties involved.

His comments came at an Alibaba investor conference hours after Washington said it would impose duties on an extra $200 billion worth of Chinese imports.

China has already said that it will retaliate.

"You may win the battle, but you lose the war," Ma said at the shareholder event and reported by Reuters.

Ma said new trade rules were needed which includes an upgrade to the World Trade Organization.

He announced last week that he will step down within a year and hand the company reins to chief executive Daniel Zhang.