Advert

Alibaba’s Ma promises to bring 1m jobs to US

Alibaba executive chairman Jack Ma met US President-elect Donald Trump on Monday and laid out the Chinese e-commerce giant’s new plan to bring one million small US businesses on to its platform to sell to Chinese consumers over the next five years, an Alibaba spokesman said.

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd expects the initiative to create one million US jobs as each company adds a position, company spokesman Bob Christie said in a phone call.

Alibaba has previously campaigned to bring more small US businesses on to the company’s sites, but this is the first time Ma has discussed specific targets.

Trump also promised to call China a currency manipulator on his first day in office

Trump and Ma emerged from their meeting at Trump Tower in New York together. The President-elect told reporters they had a “great meeting” and would do great things together. Ma called Trump “smart” and “open-minded.”

Ma said the two mainly discussed supporting small businesses, especially in the Midwest, such as farmers and small clothing makers, who could tap the Chinese market directly through Alibaba, whose Tmall online shopping platform offers virtual store fronts and payment portals to merchants. The company has in recent years been aggressively courting foreign brands to set up Tmall stores to sell to China’s vast and growing middle class by offering to smoothen out Chinese sales, payment and shipping processes.

Ma, a Chinese citizen, appears frequently with leaders from the highest echelons of the Communist Party, and both sides have voiced their support and admiration for each other.

Trump often targeted China in the election campaign, blaming Beijing for US job losses and vowing to impose 45 per cent tariffs on Chinese imports. He also promised to call China a currency manipulator on his first day in office.

About 7,000 US brands including wholesaler Costco Wholesale Corp and apparel seller Levi’s currently sit on Alibaba’s Tmall, an Alibaba spokeswoman said. They made $15 billion in sales to Chinese consumers last year, she added.

Alibaba did not mention whether Trump and Ma spoke about an ongoing US Securities and Exchange Commission investigation into Alibaba’s accounting practices. Trump’s top choice for the incoming head of the commission, Wall Street lawyer Jay Clayton, worked on Alibaba’s initial public offering.

The US Trade Representative last month returned the Chinese e-commerce giant to an infamous list of blacklisted online retailers over concerns that the company was not doing enough to stop counterfeiting on their sites.

Advert

See our Comments Policy Comments are submitted under the express understanding and condition that the editor may, and is authorised to, disclose any/all of the above personal information to any person or entity requesting the information for the purposes of legal action on grounds that such person or entity is aggrieved by any comment so submitted. Please allow some time for your comment to be moderated.

Comments not loading? We recommend using Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox with javascript turned on.
Comments powered by Disqus  
Advert
Advert