Masayoshi Son, the Softbank founder and an early investor in Alibaba, met with Trump in early December to announce a plan to create 50,000 jobs in the US through a $50 billion investment.
Trump and Ma emerged from their meeting at Trump Tower in NY together.
President-elect Donald Trump has criticized, even threatened, China repeatedly. Speaking to reporters afterwards, Trump said, "we had a great meeting...and (he's) a great, great entrepreneur, one of the best in the world, and he loves this country, and he loves China". The Chinese e-commerce giant said it could help create 1 million jobs by adding 1 million small and medium-sized USA businesses to its site.
Ma gets on rather well with the Chinese authorities which is more than can be said for Trump. He referred to President-elect Trump as being very smart and he dismissed any potential conflict with China.
Alibaba is one of China's most aggressive deal-makers. Analysts also say that Ma's claim can not be taken seriously because the Chinese and South Asian market may find United States made goods very expensive. 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.
"Ma has confirmed that the meeting with President-elect Trump focused on small business and young people, specifically on supporting 1 million small business in MidWest selling agriculture products, wine, fruits etc".
Chinese online giant Alibaba has joined forces with Intime Retail Group's founder to acquire the Chinese department store operator for 2.4 billion euro.
It is obvious that, for companies in the U.S. as well as elsewhere, the largest group of new middle-class consumers will be in Asia.
Last week, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative said that a unit of Alibaba, Taobao, sells an "unacceptably high" level of pirated goods and is sluggish to respond when companies complain about knockoffs.
"Alibaba is working with offline retailers to transform conventional approach, create new consumer shopping experience and use actions to embrace future opportunities under the new retail model", said Daniel Zhang, Alibaba Group Chief Executive Officer. The partnership already gives Alibaba access to Intime's inventory and allows its online customers to pick up orders from physical stores. "This, in turn, will help create American jobs and increase USA exports", Ma wrote in a 2015 opinion piece published in The Wall Street Journal.
It could also be seen as a way to curry favor with US regulators.