>> We had been a great meeting and a great, great entrepreneur.>> The latest billionaire to promise jobs and pose for pictures with Donald Trump, Alibaba CEO Jack Ma touting plans to connect a million small US businesses with Chinese consumers, a move he says could create a million jobs in the US over the next five years.
Plenty of backslapping in front of the reporters, Ma calling Trump smart and open-minded.>> It was a very productive meeting, we discussed about helping American small businesses selling things through the Alibaba platform to China and to Asia.>> But as for how these million jobs will be made, as Catherine Cate Cadell reports, Ma failed to mention that.
>> It's very unlikely that we'll get insight into how they actually plan on making a million jobs. Last month, Alibaba put out figures saying that they would create 30 million jobs in China and those figures included logistics and all sorts of other elements. In terms of how they're actually going to create those jobs in the US, it's very unclear, probably on purpose.
Ma says he wants to focus on the American Midwest, looking at opportunities in China, from small clothing makers to farmers selling wine and fruit. But it looks like this is about more than a business deal.>> There's an aspect of friend-making about it. Ma, in the past, has been quite close with the Clintons.
He had lunch with Obama last year. Trump's had a lot of anti-China rhetoric as well. This is also about protecting himself from that rhetoric and also perhaps distancing himself from those previous relationships with the former administration too.>> The meeting comes at a tense time between Beijing and Trump.
He's a big fan of steep taxes on Chinese goods that could hurt Alibaba as it tries to expand in the US. To that and, getting friendly with the Donald looks like a healthy move for Jack Ma's bottom line.>> Thank you, thank you so much.>> Thank you, Jack, thank you.