Trump & Alibaba's Founder Jack Ma Discuss Plan To Generate 1M New American Jobs

By Victor Thomson , Jan 10, 2017 02:24 AM EST

President-elect Donald Trump announced that he had a discussion with Alibaba founder and executive chairman Jack Ma on Monday, Jan. 1, regarding plans to create a million new U.S. jobs. 

Alibaba To Create 1M US Jobs

According to Computerworld, Jack Ma, the billionaire head of China's biggest e-commerce retailer Alibaba, met with President-elect Donald Trump in order to promote his company by putting on the table, the possibility of creating a million new American jobs.

Trump met Jack Ma in New York, and the two talked small business development and the U.S.-China trade. Ma promoted Alibaba as a platform that could be used by small business in the United States to sell products to consumers in Southeast Asia and China.

Alibaba said that a million of small businesses could create a million of new jobs by using the Alibaba platform for online trade. However, this proposal does not involve any commitment to hiring new staff in the U.S. itself by Alibaba.

Ma said that he mainly talked with Trump about young people, small business and selling American agricultural products to China. He also said that he envisaged fruits, garments, and wines as possible goods that could be successfully sold to Chinese consumers and that most of the jobs could be created in the U.S. Midwest agricultural sector.

After the meeting, Trump said to reporters that he and Alibaba's CEO "are going to do some great things." Alibaba has been expanding overseas. The company that operates a successful e-commerce site in China comes also to compete directly with Amazon through AliExpress.

Alibaba's expansion into the U.S. market was not always easy. Most recently, at the end of 2016, Alibaba's Taobao marketplace was placed on the list of "notorious markets" by the U.S. Trade Representative. Taobao is a consumer-to-consumer site much like eBay and the list of notorious markets comprises online and offline marketplaces involved in trademark counterfeiting and copyright piracy.

Like eBay or Etsy, Alibaba enables third-party sellers in China to promote their services and products online. According to SEC filings, as of March 31, the company only had 36,446 full-time employees, most of them in China. But Alibaba estimates its China retail marketplaces helped the creation of over 15 million job opportunities, thanks to its more than 10 million active sellers as of 2015.

Trump's Meeting With Jack Ma

According to CNBC, the meeting between Donald Trump and Jack Ma came amid tensions between the incoming Trump administration and China. During the presidential election campaign, Trump has ired China over the American relationship with Taiwan and proposed steep tariffs on Chinese goods. But Ma said that more contacts and initiatives through the business community will help China and the U.S. to better understand their political situation.

Ma also said that in his opinion the relationship between China and the U.S. should be more friendly and strengthened.  His meeting with Trump opens the door for discussing trade issues and the relationship between the two countries. And the president-elect Trump was very open-minded to listen Ma's ideas about how to improve small business and trade.

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