Alibaba Appeals to Trump, Says it Supports U.S. Businesses

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

“As the world’s largest e-commerce platform, Alibaba’s primary commercial focus in the U.S. 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 U.S.,” he said.

Earlier this month, the U.S. 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 U.S. 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 U.S. 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.

Live Blog: Learn more about Alibaba’s June quarter earnings.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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