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Alibaba’s Jack Ma is meeting with Donald Trump to discuss creating one million new U.S. jobs

All the way up.

Jack Ma Foundation Rural Teachers Awards In Sanya VCG/VCG via Getty Images
Jason Del Rey has been a business journalist for 15 years and has covered Amazon, Walmart, and the e-commerce industry for the last decade. He was a senior correspondent at Vox.

Donald Trump and China are off to a rocky start, but today the president-elect is meeting with one of the country’s most famous entrepreneurs.

Jack Ma, the Alibaba co-founder and chairman, is meeting with Trump today to discuss plans to help create up to one million new jobs in the U.S., according to a spokesman.

Since its 2014 IPO, e-commerce industry observers have been waiting for Alibaba to court U.S. consumers. But instead, Ma and other Alibaba execs have said repeatedly that they’d rather help U.S. business sell into China.

“Our U.S. strategy is simple and clear,” Ma said in a 2015 op-ed. “We want to help U.S. entrepreneurs, small business owners and brands and companies of all sizes sell their goods to the growing Chinese consumer class.”

Will that create a million jobs? Call me skeptical. But it’s the type of talk everyone knows Trump loves to hear.

The meeting comes at a crucial time for Alibaba, which was recently placed back on a list of “notorious” counterfeit marketplaces by the office of the top U.S. trade official. In the wake of that announcement, Alibaba has filed lawsuits against counterfeiters selling goods on its Taobao marketplace.

Update: Here’s Ma, flanked by Alibaba president and Goldman Sachs veteran Michael Evans, arriving late Monday morning at Trump Tower.

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