Donald Trump met on Monday, with Jack Ma, the billionaire who controls Alibaba among many other business ventures. They discussed exactly what would happen when Alibaba expands into the United States. They are talking about 1 million new jobs for Americans. Alibaba would be running in direct competition with Amazon. There is a lot of bad blood between Trump and Amazon. Jeff Bezos has been quite critical of Trump in the past, when he didn’t believe Trump would ever become president. Surprise!!
The company would not hire a million workers directly. But the companies they contract with will probably have to expand, especially since they would now have a much bigger buyer base. In China, Ma and Alibaba are credited with creating 15 million jobs the same way.
Ma told reporters:
“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.”
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.