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Less than two weeks after Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma announced his plans to retire, his company held its biggest event of the year, The Computing Conference, in Yunqi Town, Hangzhou.

During his speech at the investor day event, Ma emphasized the theme of this year’s event — “Empower Digital China” — when he evoked the U.S.-China Trade War. He suggested Chinese manufacturers could survive the mêlée by boosting innovation, and he urged the industry to follow the example of Chinese retail.

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Cassidy McDonald

Cassidy McDonald is a Beijing-based multimedia journalist who covers technology's effect on Chinese society. She tweets at @CMcD123.