Alibaba's Jack Ma Meeting Donald Trump Serves Both Parties (BABA)

Elbert EdwardsJan 12, 2017

Trump has repeatedly criticized China for its economic policies and accused the country of stealing jobs away from the US.

Based on this, it seems that Mr. Ma will be helping Trump unveil nearly a million jobs for U.S. citizens. Trump's top choice for the incoming head of the commission, Wall Street lawyer Jay Clayton, worked on Alibaba's initial public offering.

The details of Alibaba's plans on how the 1 million jobs will be created, however, remains to be vague, hinged on the idea that American businesses should open themselves up to selling their products and services through the Chinese online commerce portal. He referred to President-elect Trump as being very smart and he dismissed any potential conflict with China. Many believe online and offline commerce to be at odds with one another, but the strategy for Alibaba is to focus on offline-to-online, a buzzy phrase for connecting brick and mortar sellers with the internet. Alibaba, which has deep ties with the Chinese government, might want to soften the wrath of Trump in the coming years even as it lays out ambitious plans of expansion in the US. With the start of 2017, it seems that the company will comply with its promise of 1 million recruitments in a total span of five years. "I told him my ideas about how to improve trade, especially to improve small business, cross border trade", Ma told reporters at Trump tower in NY after meeting with Trump.

Mr Ma, who is one of the richest people in China, specifically said that farmers and small clothing makers in the US Midwest should use the Alibaba online marketplace to reach Chinese consumers.

Alibaba is partnering with the founder of China's Intime Retail to take the department-store operator private.

Similar to its focus in Australia, Alibaba wants United States small businesses and farmers to sell products and services through Alibaba's platforms to China and Asia.

That would create a few jobs, but Alibaba warehouses are for the most part heavily automated logistics hubs.

Alibaba BABA, +0.88% already has a 28% stake in Intime from a $692 million investment it made in 2014; its shareholding would rise to about 74% after the deal.

The meeting with Ma comes on the heels of SoftBank Chairman and Japanese billionaire Masayoshi Son, - a good friend of Ma and early investor in Alibaba - promised to invest $50 billion in the create 50,000 jobs. Alibaba is also now being investogated by the SEC for controversial accounting practices.

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