Alibaba appeals to Trump, says it supports US businesses

Bloomberg August 21 | Updated on August 21, 2020

Daniel Zhang, Chief Executive Officer of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd   -  REUTERS

Chinese e-comm major says it supports US brands, retailers and farmers

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd offered reassurances that its presence in the US is benign, in a bid to remove itself from the cross hairs of US President Donald Trump.

As the world’s largest e-commerce platform, Alibaba’s primary commercial focus in the US is to support American brands, retailers, small businesses and farmers to sell to consumers and trade partners in China as well as other key markets around the world, Chief Executive Officer Daniel Zhang said on an earnings call.

“We believe global trade will continue, and Alibaba’s active pursuit of our mission to make it easy to do business anywhere is fully aligned with the interests of both China and the US,” he said.

Trump’s moves

Earlier this month, the US President signed two executive orders targeting Chinese-owned social media platform TikTok and messaging app WeChat. Trump later said he was considering taking action against other Chinese companies.

Washington’s Clean Network program announced by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also urged US companies to cut ties with Chinese firms, including cloud providers such as Alibaba, Tencent Holdings Ltd. and Baidu Inc., for sensitive American data.

But this week, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told Fox Business News that no formal proceedings are underway against Alibaba at this time.

Zhang said the company is closely monitoring the latest shift in US policies toward Chinese companies, which he described as being in a very fluid situation.

“We are assessing the situation and any potential impact carefully and thoroughly, and will take necessary actions to comply with any new regulations,” Zhang said.

Published on August 21, 2020

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