The richest man Asia and the head of Alibaba, one of the largest e-commerce retailers in the world, Jack Ma has promised to create 1 million jobs in the US. Without wasting time, Jack Ma moved close with Donald Trump. Setting his eyes on the burgeoning US market and further promising he would create employment in excess of 1 million, Jack Ma thus gained access to the inner circle of the corridors of power.The American entrepreneur of Chinese descent even had dinner with Ivanka Trump. And that is not all. He was seen sitting next to Wilbur Ross, the Commerce Secretary last week at a meeting of the US and the Chinese businessmen. At a time when the US is feeling skeptical about big ticket Chinese investment in their country, Jack Ma is aiming at acquiring American firms. The first ploy was offering employment opportunity of over a million that sounded music to Donald Trump, irrespective of its outcome.Quoting Duncan Clark, a long time friend of Jack Ma and the author of Alibaba: The House That Jack Ma Built, a theguardian.com report said, "As a merchant, it is about knowing your customer. Trump doesn't care about anything that is not huge. A million is a good number to get Trump's attention. Realistically, without a major acquisition, I fail to see how that is possible. In the US context, it is a very big number."For years, Ma has been pushing his vision of US small businesses selling to Chinese shoppers through his online marketplaces. He is often called the “Jeff Bezos of China”, and there are clear similarities. Both built e-commerce empires and, like Bezos and the Washington Post, Ma even owns an old established newspaper, in his case Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post, said the report.
DifferenceWhile Bezos’s Amazon sells products to consumers, maintaining massive warehouses and operating a sophisticated logistics network, Alibaba’s sites are simply a medium, connecting consumers with merchants who ship through independent couriers. This has led experts to say Alibaba’s business model is closer to Google’s than Amazon’s.StrengthAlibaba’s strength has always been solving inefficiencies, creating a website that allowed a host of businesses to sell directly to consumers during the infancy of the Internet in China and starting an online payment system when it was cumbersome to wire funds, says the report. The company’s flagship platforms, Taobao (similar to eBay) and Tmall (similar to Amazon), have created a one-stop shop for consumers, and Alibaba is exporting the model to emerging markets such as Russia and Brazil.ChallengeBut the US presents a new challenge, and e-commerce is already a crowded space. Alibaba may not have what it takes to spur massive job creation in the US. “It’s an incredibly unlikely target for job creation in any plausible time frame,” citing Christopher Balding, a professor of business and economics at Peking University’s HSBC business school as saying, the report said. “If we’re talking 25 or 40 years, maybe Alibaba could create that many jobs”, Balding told The Guardian. By comparison, WalMart, the largest private employer in the US, employs 1.5 million people. If Jack Ma is able to deliver on his promise of 1 million jobs, it would decrease the number of unemployed workers by a staggering 14%, which will be a shot in the arm for the Trump administration.