Jack Ma, the founder and chairman of Alibaba Group, met with President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower on Monday, January 9.
Ma and Trump met with reporters briefly after the meeting and said they discussed plans to create one million US jobs by allowing small and medium-sized businesses to sell to China through the company’s platforms.
“$BABA wants to create US jobs by helping US small businesses and farmers sell to China’s 300 million-strong middle class,” said a tweet from Alibaba.
“We had a great meeting.” Trump told reporters. “[Ma is] a great, great entrepreneur, one of the best in the world. He loves this country and he loves China.”
Ma told reporters at Trump Tower that the two discussed allowing US products such as “garments, wine and fruit” to be sold on the platform. Additionally, Ma said that the discussion included talk on the need for China and US to improve their relationship.
Trump has repeatedly attacked China for their economic policies and accused the country of stealing jobs away from the US. Additionally, Trump has said he may raise tariffs on Chinese goods sold in the US.
Alibaba has been planning to expand more aggressively into the US. The company has expanded its New York City US headquarters and has been making a push for international participation in its signature Singles’ Day sale.
Alibaba also tweeted pictures of Ma walking to meet Trump and waiting inside Trump Tower.
— Alibaba Group (@AlibabaGroup) January 9, 2017
The meeting comes just a few weeks after Trump met with another Asian technology powerhouse, CEO Masayoshi Son of SoftBank. At that meeting, Trump took credit for a previously announced investment by a fund run by Son and said that the fund would help to create 50,000 jobs.
Following news of the meeting, Alibaba stock rallied and is up just over 1.26% as of 12:20 p.m. ET. It had been trading in the red up until the announcement.
Watch Trump remarks to reporters:
Moments Ago: President-elect Trump says his meeting with Alibaba’s Jack Ma was “great” and they discussed jobs. pic.twitter.com/JuJXoqHjJf
— CNBC Now (@CNBCnow) January 9, 2017