Alibaba Executive Chairman Jack Ma met U.S. President-elect Donald Trump on Monday and laid out the Chinese e-commerce giant’s new plan to bring one million small U.S. businesses onto its platform to sell to Chinese consumers over the next five years, an Alibaba spokesman said.
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (BABA.N) expects the initiative to create one million U.S. jobs as each company adds a position, company spokesman Bob Christie said in a phone call.
Alibaba has previously campaigned to bring more small U.S. businesses onto the company’s sites, but this is the first time Ma has discussed specific targets.
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, 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 U.S. job losses and vowing to impose 45 percent tariffs on Chinese imports.
He also promised to call China a currency manipulator on his first day in office.
Alibaba did not mention whether Trump and Ma spoke about an ongoing U.S. 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 U.S 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.