One of China’s top business leaders met with Donald Trump today in what was described by both as a “great” meeting.
The president-elect and Alibaba Chairman Jack Ma, who co-founded Alibaba in 1999 and has helped grow the China tech giant into a $200 billion-plus company, spoke today about Alibaba creating 1 million jobs in the U.S. by allowing small and medium-sized businesses to sell products to China via Alibaba’s platform.
— Alibaba Group (@AlibabaGroup) January 9, 2017
Moments Ago: President-elect Trump says his meeting with Alibaba's Jack Ma was "great" and they discussed jobs. pic.twitter.com/JuJXoqHjJf
— CNBC Now (@CNBCnow) January 9, 2017
Alibaba, which is essentially the Amazon, eBay, and PayPal of China, all wrapped into one, has been trying to build a service that lets Chinese and other Asia-based consumers access items made outside of their country. The company is also looking to grow its presence in the U.S. and recently expanded its U.S. headquarters in New York City.
Here’s a statement from Alibaba, which had its IPO on the New York Stock Exchange in 2014:
Providing Chinese consumers with access to goods made outside of China has long been a key strategy for Alibaba. Last year, Ma said he envisions 40% of the company’s business to be outside China in the next 10 years. In 20 years, he expects Alibaba to serve two billion consumers globally and support 10 million profitable businesses. Jack Ma outlined Alibaba Group’s U.S. plans back in 2015 in a WSJ op-ed where he said, “we want to help U.S. entrepreneurs, small business owners, and brands and companies of all sizes sell their goods to the growing Chinese consumer class.”
The meeting is notable in part because of Trump’s attacks on China’s trade and economic policies.
The Wall Street Journal noted how Ma’s meeting with Trump was similar to that of SoftBank Group Corp. Masayoshi Son visiting the president-elect in December.
Some more context from Recode:
Additional context: Trump's SEC pick, Wall Street lawyer Jay Clayton, worked on Alibaba IPO. https://t.co/VSKiWZCqHY
— Jason Del Rey (@DelRey) January 9, 2017
Shares of Alibaba rose more than 1 percent on today’s news.