To Counter Trump’s Trade War, China Sends Alibaba’s Jack Ma

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wolfstreet.com / by Wolf Richter /

A friendly chat among billionaires who presumably see eye-to-eye.

Carrot and Stick. That’s how China is approaching a pending trade war and all kinds of disagreements proffered by President-Elect Donald Trump. Here’s the carrot, as tweeted by CNBC:

NEW: Alibaba’s Jack Ma is meeting with Trump today about Alibaba’s latest US expansion plans, including creating 1M US jobs over next 5 yrs

A limp carrot? Jack Ma isn’t going to “create” jobs in the US; he will merely allow small US companies to get on Alibaba’s platform and sell directly to Chinese consumers, in competition with Chinese vendors and knock-offs that find their way on the site, which might, should, or could add maybe 1 million jobs in the US over the next five years.

So how exactly would those million jobs appear in the US? An Alibaba spokesman told Reuters in a phone call that each of the one-million small companies that would get on the platform would create one position. So that’s how the promised “1M US jobs,” as CNBC had put it, would materialize.

That was one of the carrots China offered: direct access to its consumers, even as American consumers have long been able to buy directly from Chinese vendors via Alibaba.

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