The U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimated that trade with China now supports more than 40 million jobs in the United States.
Mr. Ma's meeting with Mr. Trump echoes a meeting SoftBank Group Corp. founder Masayoshi Son held with the president-elect in December.
Ma did not confirm a specific number of jobs to reporters after the meeting, but said that he would go through the small business community to focus on agriculture products, especially in the Midwest.
Alibaba has a significant amount of business tied to trade in the USA and has outlined expansion plans in the country. "That would be contrary to their strategy today", said Gil Luria, senior analyst at Wedbush Securities.
Alibaba stock rallied on news of the meeting, and it was up just over 1.26% as of 12:20 p.m. ET.
"We don't have to take the one million job promise too seriously", Li said. Ma has previously talked about his goal of getting American businesses to embrace the Chinese online shopping service.
Even so Ma wants half of Alibaba's revenue to be global within 10 years. Walmart, which is looking to boost its online presence, has 2.3 million employees worldwide, 1.5 million of which are in the United States, as of the end of the fiscal year 2016. "Notorious Markets" list, with its Taobao website cited as a haven for fake merchandise, suggesting it hasn't done enough to fight counterfeits. The company claimed the decision was politically motivated during a tumultuous election cycle. Unlike the United States, where retail is dominated by a few mega-chains, China's retail experience is much more inconsistent and fragmented.
While the lawsuit is certainly a huge step in Alibaba's efforts to police its platform, having Trump as an ally with the goal of creating 1 million new U.S.jobs can remove or soften the pressure Alibaba faces from us consumer-protection regulators.
It added that people should not "rigidly interpret" the jobs pledge to mean full-time corporate positions, but rather focus on how it would help small businesses and American farmers sell to the Asian market.