Jack Ma and Donald Trump pose after their meeting at Trump Tower in January. Ma has shown a shrewd sense of how he can help China's leaders. Photo: AFP/Timothy A Clary

Alibaba’s founder and China’s richest man has plans for the company to become one of the world’s most powerful economies, and he knows that won’t happen without tapping the US market.

As part of his charm offensive, which included a pledge to Donald Trump to create one million jobs in the US, Ma is attending Alibaba’s Gateway conference in Detroit this week to try to attract small businesses to his company’s e-commerce platform, reports Bloomberg.

Despite having experienced difficulty trying to navigate the process of selling through Alibaba’s TMall, entrepreneur Sam Wolf acknowledges that China is driving sales.

“Would I say that this has created more jobs?” Wolf asked. “We’ve definitely created jobs but I can’t exactly say because of what.” But Wolf admits that China is “absolutely driving the business and sales.”

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