Jack Ma, the head of China’s largest eCommerce site, Alibaba, met with President-Elect Donald Trump on Monday (Jan. 9) to discuss job creation in the U.S. during the course of the next five years.
According to a report by CNBC, Ma is committed to creating 1 million new jobs in the U.S. and discussed Alibaba’s planned expansion in the U.S. in a meeting with Trump. While Ma and Trump were expected to have a productive conversation, it does come at a time when tensions are growing between Trump and China. Trump has already called for big tariffs on trade with China. At the same time, Trump has been critical of eCommerce giant Amazon, which, in addition to being the leading eCommerce company, also offers cloud services and a third-party marketplace. Trump has said Amazon will have “such problems” when he becomes president because of the tax structure of the company, noted the report.
If Ma and Trump came to some sort of deal that includes job creation, it will be the latest company to commit to hiring more U.S. workers or keeping jobs in the states. Softbank has pledged to create 50,000 jobs, and Sprint, which is owned by Softbank, committed to 5,000 new U.S. jobs.
While the jobs that Softbank committed to are part of a previously announced plan, Trump has been taking credit for it, and Softbank is fine with that. TechCrunch speculated that Softbank’s willingness to let Trump take credit for the new jobs may be more to do with Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son wanting an easy go at it in merging Sprint with T-Mobile than anything else. After all, Softbank has seen regulators repeatedly derail previous attempts to merge Sprint and T-Mobile. Son told reporters in the lobby of New York’s Trump Tower, where he posed for photos with the president-elect, that he sees a lot of deregulation coming with a Trump presidency.