Jack Ma is pushing for American small businesses to export more to China, as he looks to win over Donald Trump and draw more customers to Alibaba, the Financial Times reports. On Tuesday, Ma lavished praise on the “wonderful” American rust belt, laying out plans to bring 1m small US businesses to Alibaba’s platform in the next five years, as part of an idea hatched with Trump in January. Ma has previously pledged to create 1m US jobs, a claim that has been dismissed by some analysts but applauded by Trump. “[Trump] said the American Midwest is the centre, where there are so many small and medium-sized companies,” said Ma on a conference call with reporters. “China has 300m middle class [shoppers]. We need good stuff from outside China.” Ma’s comments come ahead of a June conference Alibaba will host in Detroit, the “first key driver” of a campaign to encourage US farmers and businesses to export to China.
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