Alibaba (BABA - Get Report) founder and executive chairman Jack Ma met with President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower today to discuss the company's commitment to create 1 million new jobs in the United States over the next five years.
The meeting comes shortly after SoftBank Chairman and Japanese billionaire Masayoshi Son, who is also a good friend of Ma and early investor in his e-commerce empire, pledged to invest $50 billion in the U.S. to create 50,000 jobs.
"Yes, we had a great meeting. It's jobs. You just saw what happened with Fiat (FCAU - Get Report) where they're going to build a massive plant in the United States, in Michigan," said President-elect Trump during a press Q&A after the meeting that was broadcast on CNBC's "Halftime Report" on Monday afternoon. "We're very happy, and Jack [Ma] and I are going to do some great things."
Trump has been critical of the Transpacific Partnership and the United States' relationship with China from a trade perspective.
"I think the door is opened for discussing the relationship on trade issues. I'm thinking that the President-elect is very smart," said Ma He's very open-minded listening. So I tell him my ideas about how he can improve the trade, especially supporting small business."
Shares of Alibaba were up 1.2% to $95.01 per share in midday trading on Monday.
Since Alibaba's initial public offering in September 2014, which raised $25 billion in total, the e-commerce giant has been seeking channels for U.S. expansion.
"We want to help U.S entrepreneurs, small business owners, and brands and companies of all sizes sell their goods to the growing Chinese consumer class. Chinese consumers will get to buy the American products they want. This, in turn, will help create American jobs and increase U.S. exports," wrote Ma in an Op-Ed for the Wall Street Journal back in 2015.
Back when Trump was first elected in November last year, Ma said that he's not afraid of a Trump presidency, citing the importance of a healthy and positive China-U.S. relationship.
"He's a smart person, he will adjust," Ma told CNN in an interview in November. "He will never neglect the relationship between China and America."
Exactly what Alibaba's U.S. investments would look like remains to be seen. That said, Ma has been vocal about his intentions to expand Alibaba beyond its home market and outside its wheelhouse of e-commerce.
In October, Alibaba announced it had acquired a minority stake in Amblin Partners, Steven Spielberg's film, TV and digital content creation label. Terms of the acquisition weren't disclosed.