When Alibaba´s Jack Ma met US president-elect Donald Trump and announced he would create one million jobs in the US, it was already taken with a pinch of salt. Mainly good PR, says Peking University professor Jeffrey Towson to AFP, by a Chinese company focusing on the US as its next market.
While dominant in its home market, and making forays into Russia and Southeast Asia, Alibaba’s efforts in the US have so far failed to find the same success.
Its business model as a platform offers US consumers no extra benefits, Li said, and it faces dominant local competitors such as Amazon and eBay.
Even so Ma wants half of Alibaba’s revenue to be international within 10 years.
The firm’s Ant Financial affiliate, which operates digital payments service Alipay, and Tmall International are likely to be its “primary vehicles” for gaining a US foothold, Jeffrey Towson, professor at the Peking University Guanghua School of Management, told AFP.
“Alibaba is serious about the USA,” he said, adding the Trump meeting was “good PR” for the firm and introduced Ma to many Americans who had not heard of him.
“Every business person in China, and globally, now knows that what Trump wants to hear about is US jobs. So that is what they are all now saying.”
After the meeting the two multi-billionaires praised one another, with the Chinese tycoon calling the president-elect “very smart” and “very open-minded”.
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