Reach back in memory to January and the well-publicized meeting between newly inaugurated US President Donald Trump and Executive Chairman Jack Ma of Chinese mega-company Alibaba. At that meeting Ma made a pledge to launch an online sales platform which would give at least 1 million small US businesses a chance to market their wares to the seemingly endless Chinese marketplace.
This week Ma will make another announcement promising to make good on that promise with a first giant step: teaching US businesses how to sell to Alibaba’s 443 million Chinese customers. The education will take place at a conference in Detroit scheduled for June 20-21, 2017.
The world’s two largest markets for small businesses are in China and the USA, so ““connecting them seems like a good idea – good for the United States and good for China,” said Michael Evans, Alibaba president.
Today there are only 7,000, mostly large, US businesses on Alibaba, the world’s largest on-line retailer, which is orders of magnitude larger than Amazon. Alibaba hopes to get that number up to 1 million within the coming five years, most of them small businesses. Trump stated back in January that this would create about 1 million new jobs in the USA.
Ma stated in an open letter to US farmers, entrepreneurs and businesses, that Alibaba’s goal is to make it simple for American small business owners to “take advantage of the China opportunity.”