Chairman Jack Ma of Alibaba promised US president-elect Donald Trump a million US jobs, but what he might get, says retail analyst Ben Cavender at CNN, are very, very few real jobs. “I don’t see a lot of job creation happening.”
Ma has been pushing since 2015 to increase U.S. sales to China on Alibaba. But getting one million American brands onto its platforms would require a 142-fold increase in business.
Realistically, what will likely happen is Mom and Pop stores will set up e-commerce stores on Alibaba as a side business to tap into the China market, says Ben Cavender, director with China Market Research Group.
“I don’t see a lot of job creation happening,” Cavender said.
While Ma did not present any concrete plans for job creation, his meeting with Trump was a good “lobby photo opp,” says Duncan Clark, chairman of consultancy firm BDA China and author of “Alibaba: The House That Jack Ma Built”.
It could also be seen as a way to curry favor with U.S. regulators. The U.S. Trade Representative put Taobao back on its “notorious markets” list last month, citing an “unacceptably high” level of fake goods.
Analysts say sophisticated, middle class Chinese consumers have a growing appetite for foreign goods that are more trustworthy than Asian products. Small U.S. companies that specialize in nutrition, supplements, and baby products should do well on Alibaba’s platforms, said Cavender.
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