I don’t know how to say Make America Great Again in Chinese, but Jack Ma, Alibaba’s executive chairman definitely grasps the concept. During a chat with President Elect Donald J Trump on Monday, Jack Ma said that his company would like to expand its business in America, focusing on products like fruits, wine and garments, with a special emphasis on trade between southeast Asia and American Midwest.
Alibaba is a huge Chinese-based online retailer and Amazon’s main competitor and according to Donald Trump, the meeting with Jack Ma at the Trump Tower was great, amazing folks, it’s gonna happen and all that jazz.
Joke aside, Jack Ma told reporters “after hours”, let me quote:
“We’re focused on small business. We specifically talked about … supporting 1 million small businesses, especially in the Midwest of America. Small businesses on the platform selling products — agriculture products and America services — to China and Asia, because we’re pretty big in Asia.”
While Alibaba released a statement saying that:
Alibaba will create 1 million U.S. jobs by enabling 1 million American small businesses and farmers to sell American goods to China and Asian consumers on the Alibaba platform
Just like Ebay or Etsy, Alibaba works by enabling 3rd party sellers in mainland China to take their businesses online. According to SEC fillings, Alibaba only employs 36.446 workers full time, most of them in China. However, there are over ten million active sellers on their online platform as per 2015 figures, while the company estimates that its China retail marketplace helped creating over fifteen million job opportunities.
On the other side, Amazon has almost ten times more employees, 230 800 to be more exact, while it also creates jobs through its contractors, sellers and supporting services.
“We had a great meeting. And a great, great entrepreneur, one of the best in the world. And he loves this country and he loves China,”
said Donald Trump as he appeared together with Jack Ma during a short press conference with reporters. Despite the tensions between the future Trump administration and China (the tariff situation), Ma seems to be optimistic, as any crises provides great opportunities for those capable of understanding the world we’re living in. Let me quote him again:
“We also think that the China and USA relationship should be strengthened — should be more friendly, The door is open … [for] discussing the relationship and trade issues. I think the president-elect is very smart, he’s very open-minded to listen. I told him my ideas about how to improve trade, especially to improve small business, cross border trade. … [Trump] has concerns, and he has solutions, that he wants to discuss with China and us.”
(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)