Ma said that Alibaba's expansion would focus on products like garments, wine and fruits, with a special focus on trade between the American midwest and southeast Asia.
"We're focused on small business," Ma told reporters. "We specifically talked about ... supporting 1 million small businesses, especially in the Midwest of America. Small businesses on the platform selling products — agriculture products and America services — to China and Asia, because we're pretty big in Asia."
Where those jobs would come from is unclear. While an Alibaba spokesperson told CNBC before the meeting that the Chinese online retail giant company would create 1 million jobs over five years, Ma's comments focused on supporting small businesses.
"Alibaba will create 1 million U.S. jobs by enabling 1 million American small businesses and farmers to sell American goods to China and Asian consumers on the Alibaba platform," the company said in a statement.