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Alibaba Group Holding Executive Chairman Jack Ma Yun's meeting Monday with incoming U.S. President Donald Trump in NY was likely about more than just business, with the Chinese tycoon having played the role of unofficial diplomat for Beijing in the past.

President-elect Donald Trump met with Alibaba executive chairman Jack Ma on Monday at Trump Tower and then answered questions from reporters on his meeting and the upcoming confirmation hearings for his Cabinet.

In the Trump Tower lobby, Trump called Ma a "great, great entrepreneur" and said the meeting had been "great".

"Jack and I are going to do some great things", the US President-elect added. In 20 years, Alizila, Alibaba's public relations arm, reported that Ma expects his platform will serve "2 billion consumers globally and support 10 million profitable businesses". Small U.S. companies that specialize in nutrition, supplements, and baby productsshould do well on Alibaba's platforms, said Cavender.

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Sign at the New York Stock Exchange as the e commerce company the Alibaba Group records blockbuster Single's Day sales in New York City. Founder of Alibaba (and executive chairman) Jack Ma's goal is to debloat the Chinese retail landscape by cutting out layers of middlemen to improve costs and efficiency, and let stores buy directly from suppliers based on real-time inventory and demand.

The Wall Street Journal noted how Ma's meeting with Trump was similar to that of SoftBank Group Corp. But it's also possible that Son merely allowed Trump to spin a preexisting expansion plan as he saw fit, in a bid to curry favor with the incoming administration.

On some levels, the meet made sense: Trump wants to be seen as negotiator-in-chief, so why not meet with the head of a trading empire? "I think the door is opened for discussing the relationship on trade issues".

Alibaba said it was "disappointed" about the decision and suggested it polices the online marketplace more effectively than it did four years ago. Ma said items like fresh foods, cosmetics and baby products present a particular opportunity for sellers in Europe and the U.S.to crack the Chinese market. While Trump's team may cast Ma's promise as yet another example of Trump's otherworldly negotiating powers, the fact is that Alibaba has been attempting to increase its presence in the USA even before Trump descended down his escalator to announce his candidacy.