NEW YORK, Jan. 9 (UPI) -- Jack Ma, the founder and executive chairman of Alibaba Group, met with President-elect Donald Trump on Monday and pledged to create 1 million jobs in the United States.
After the meeting at Trump Tower in New York City, Ma and Trump said the jobs would be created by allowing some U.S. businesses to sell to China through Alibaba's platforms.
Alibaba is an online marketplace, akin to Amazon.
Alibaba "wants to create U.S. jobs by helping U.S. small businesses and farmers sell to China's 300 million-strong middle class," the company said in a statement.
Ma told reporters he and Trump discussed allowing products such as garments, fruit and wine to be sold through Alibaba, adding that China and the United States need to improve their diplomatic relationship.
Trump has long criticized the trade relationship between the United States and China, most recently by saying "China has been taking out massive amounts of money & wealth from the U.S. in totally one-sided trade."
In December, Alibaba expanded its U.S.-based operations in New York City by leasing more than 30,000 square feet in downtown Manhattan in attempts to increase its influence in the United States.
"We had a great meeting," Trump told reporters, adding that Ma is "a great, great entrepreneur, one of the best in the world. He loves this country and he loves China."