President-elect Donald Trump said he had a “great meeting” with Alibaba executive chairman Jack Ma on Monday, when they discussed 1 million new U.S. jobs.
Ma said that Alibaba’s expansion would focus on products like garments, wine and fruits, with a special focus on trade between the American midwest and southeast Asia.
“We’re focused on small business,” Ma told reporters. “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.”
“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,” the company said in a statement.
Like Etsy or eBay, Alibaba enables third-party sellers in China to take their own businesses to the web. The company only had 36,446 full-time employees, almost all in China, as of March 31, according to SEC filings. But with more than 10 million active sellers as of 2015, Alibaba estimates its China retail marketplaces “contributed to the creation of over 15 million job opportunities.”
Amazon, by comparison, had about 230,800 employees as of the end of 2015, though it, too, creates other jobs through its sellers, contractors and supporting services. Wal-Mart, which is strengthening its online presence, employs 2.3 million associates around the world, including 1.5 million in the U.S., as of the end of fiscal 2016.
Monday’s meeting was planned to focus on the Chinese e-commerce company’s U.S. expansion plans, according to spokespeople for both Alibaba and Trump. Ma had planned to be in New York on Monday and the scheduling worked out for the meeting at Trump Tower, a source told CNBC.
“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,” Trump said. “Jack and I are going to do some great things.”
Shares of Alibaba’s stock rose 1 percent on Monday.
Trump is on a roll bringing jobs to US. This just after announcing that Chrysler will invest $1Billion adding another 2000 jobs
It’s finally happening – Fiat Chrysler just announced plans to invest $1BILLION in Michigan and Ohio plants, adding 2000 jobs. This after…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 9, 2017