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Alibaba's Jack Ma on Trump: Give the president a chance — 'at least he's trying'

  • Alibaba founder Jack Ma says Americans should be patient with President Trump because he hasn't been in the White House for very long.
  • "At least he's trying," Ma says.
  • Ma also says, "China is not stealing jobs; we are creating a lot of jobs."

Americans should be patient with President Donald Trump because he hasn't been in the White House for very long, Alibaba founder Jack Ma told CNBC on Tuesday.

"You may not agree with him," said Ma, the billionaire executive chairman of the Chinese e-commerce behemoth. But he urged people to give Trump a chance. "You can never achieve something within one year."

"At least he's trying," Ma added in an interview on "Squawk Box."

Jack Ma, founder and executive chairman of Alibaba Group in Shanghai China on Dec. 5th, 2017.
Justin Solomon | CNBC
Jack Ma, founder and executive chairman of Alibaba Group in Shanghai China on Dec. 5th, 2017.

Throughout his presidential campaign, Trump railed that China was stealing U.S. jobs as he promised to keep work in America. Candidate Trump also vowed to call China a currency manipulator on his first day in office. But as president, Trump has been rather cozy with China, meeting President Xi Jinping in Beijing and in the U.S.

When asked whether the China is taking jobs, Ma said, "China is not stealing jobs; we are creating a lot of jobs." Earlier this year, Ma met with then-President-elect Trump and promised to bring 1 million small U.S. businesses onto its platform.

"A lot of companies succeed in China. Starbucks did excellent in China," said Ma.

"Microsoft did excellent in China," Ma continued. "IBM did excellent in China. And we do not see a lot Chinese companies do[ing] excellent in the States. So we should work together."

Ma spoke from Starbucks' new 30,000-square-foot Shanghai Reserve Roastery megastore, where Alibaba created an augmented reality experience.

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