One of the world’s largest online retailers is making a pitch for small companies in the U.S. to sell their products in Asia.
China-based Alibaba debuted a summit on how to sell products online from the U.S. to Chinese consumers this week at Cobo Center in Detroit.
About 3,000 attendees registered for the two-day event.
Alibaba Chief Executive and co-founder Jack Ma says China is looking to buy more online than just big ticket items like automobiles.
And Ma says Alibaba will help facilitate that trade, even offering warehouses in China that farmers in places like Michigan can use to store produce before it is shipped out.
“Our business strategy in the USA is not coming here to do the same thing like Amazon or eBay,” Ma says. “Our model is to bring the American small business farmers to China, to Asia.”
Ma met with Donald Trump shortly after he became president.
The two agreed that allowing American business owners to sell through Alibaba’s platforms could generate enough sales activity to create an estimated one million jobs in the U.S.
WDET’s Quinn Klinefelter attended the event and talked about it with WDET’s Jerome Vaughn.