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Alibaba’s Ma Meets With Trump

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  • Alibaba’s Ma Meets With Trump to Discuss Job Creation

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. Chairman Jack Ma met with Donald Trump on Monday to discuss how the online retailer could help create 1 million new U.S. jobs, keying in on one of the president-elect’s chief concerns amid fraught relations between China and the incoming administration.

The Chinese e-commerce giant said the positions would be generated through Alibaba adding 1 million small and medium-sized U.S. businesses to its platforms, estimating that each one will hire a new person as a result of the added commerce.

Several other top executives have met with Trump in his New York headquarters promising to create U.S. jobs. But Ma’s 40-minute sit-down comes after Trump has called for high tariffs on trade with China, accused the country of stealing jobs from Americans and incited political controversy by reaching out to Taiwan. Alibaba was also recently put back on the U.S. “Notorious Markets” list, with its Taobao website cited as a haven for fake merchandise, suggesting it hasn’t done enough to fight counterfeits. Alibaba said at the time its new designation could have been influenced by politics.

Still, Alibaba needs to cultivate a positive working relationship with Trump as it aims to implement its international expansion plans. Ma’s discussion fits into Alibaba’s long-stated goal of bringing foreign goods to Chinese consumers. Ma has also said he wants the company to derive half of its revenue from outside China, which would to offset any slowdowns at home.

Alibaba shares rose 0.9 percent to $94.72 at the close in New York. The stock gained 8 percent last year.

Alibaba has a significant part of its business tied to trade in the U.S., giving it a strong incentive to avoid a situation in which Trump puts his campaign rhetoric into practice. Higher tariffs would depress demand for the AliExpress site, where Chinese retailers sell to U.S. consumers. Any ensuing trade disputes could hurt sales on Alibaba’s Tmall platform, through which U.S. and international brands sell to Chinese consumers. Last year, 7,000 U.S. brands on Alibaba’s platforms made sales worth $15 billion to Chinese consumers, according to the company.

“Jack and I are going to do some great things together,” Trump said in the lobby of the Trump Tower in New York. After the meeting, Alibaba tweeted that it “wants to create U.S. jobs by helping U.S. small businesses and farmers sell to China’s 300 million-strong middle class.”

U.S. produce sold on Alibaba’s platforms include Pacific Northwest cherries, Washington State apples, and Alaskan seafood.

Alibaba on Tuesday said it is leading a $2.6 billion bid to take department store operator Intime Retail Group Co. private, as its seeks to deepen its integration with brick-and-mortar stores in China. Alibaba has bought or invested in a number of physical retail chains in the country as it seeks growth beyond its traditional Internet business.

Trump’s meeting with Ma comes just a few weeks after he met with SoftBank Group Corp. Chief Executive Officer Masayoshi Son. In that meeting, Trump took credit for a previously announced investment by SoftBank and 50,000 jobs that fund would help create in the U.S.

Several other companies — from IBM to Ford Motor Co. — have also unveiled plans to create jobs in the country since Trump’s election, though some of the plans had been in the works before the election was decided.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Flutterwave Celebrates Inclusion in CNBC’s Top 250 Global Fintechs

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Flutterwave has been recognized as one of the Top 250 Fintech companies globally by CNBC and Statista.

Joining the ranks of industry giants like Ali Pay, Klarna, Piggyvest, and Mastercard, this accolade underscores Flutterwave’s impact on the financial technology sector.

This honor follows Flutterwave’s recent inclusion in Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies list, highlighting the company’s pivotal role in transforming Africa’s payment landscape.

The recognition is a testament to Flutterwave’s dedication to innovation and excellence in providing seamless payment solutions across the continent.

Expressing gratitude, Flutterwave acknowledged its talented team, supportive board, reliable partners, and loyal customers for contributing to this success.

The company continues to drive progress in the fintech industry, reinforcing its commitment to enhancing financial accessibility and inclusion in Africa and beyond.

Flutterwave’s recognition on these prestigious lists marks a proud moment and a significant milestone in its journey, reflecting the company’s growing influence and leadership in the global fintech arena.

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Google Leads $250 Million Funding Round for Glance

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A logo is pictured at Google's European Engineering Center in Zurich

Google is leading a $250 million funding round for Glance, a mobile content provider.

This infusion of capital aims to expand Glance’s reach and solidify its market position amidst growing competition.

Glance, a subsidiary of InMobi Group, offers a unique service that delivers news, entertainment, and other content directly to users’ mobile screens without unlocking their devices.

With a user base exceeding 300 million across India, the US, Japan, and Indonesia, the startup has gained significant traction since its inception in 2019.

The funding round, expected to close in the coming weeks, marks a continued partnership between Google and Glance.

Google initially invested in the company in 2020, and this latest round will further enhance Glance’s capabilities to innovate and reach new audiences.

This investment reflects Google’s strategic interest in India, the world’s most populous nation, where it competes with tech giants like Microsoft, Meta, and Amazon.

With India’s rapidly growing middle class and increasing smartphone adoption, the market presents vast opportunities for digital expansion.

The support from Google comes on the heels of a previous $200 million investment by Mukesh Ambani, Asia’s wealthiest individual, which valued Glance at over $1 billion.

The startup’s largest stakeholder, InMobi, continues to thrive as a pioneer in mobile advertising, with Glance benefiting from its expertise and resources.

As Glance prepares for this new phase of growth, it stands poised to redefine how content is consumed on mobile devices worldwide.

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Cyber Threats Surge as Nigeria’s Digital Economy Expands

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As Nigeria’s digital economy flourishes, it faces escalating cyber threats, prompting the Federal Government to issue 33 cyberattack advisories in the past year.

These warnings, issued by the Nigeria Computer and Emergency Response Team (ngCERT), highlight the growing vulnerability of the nation’s digital infrastructure.

Since July 2023, ngCERT has alerted Nigerians to new attack methods and vulnerabilities. With 22 advisories issued in 2024 alone, the surge in cyberattacks coincides with the accelerated digitization spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Monthly internet usage in Nigeria soared from 125,149.86 terabytes in December 2019 to 753,388.77 terabytes in March 2024.

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) notes that increased digitalization has heightened cybersecurity risks, necessitating robust protective measures.

According to Check Point Research, Nigerian businesses face approximately 2,308 attacks weekly across all sectors.

The advisories reveal various cyber threats, including ransomware and banking trojans. A recent warning highlighted Grandoreiro, a malware targeting over 1,500 banks globally, affecting 41 banking applications in Nigeria alone.

These attacks aim to steal sensitive financial data, potentially causing significant financial losses.

Nigeria’s critical infrastructure is also under threat. In August, pro-Nigerien hackers attempted to disrupt MTN Nigeria’s network, although they were unsuccessful.

During the 2023 elections, the government recorded 12.99 million cyberattacks, underscoring the scale of the threat.

Cybercrime costs Nigeria about $500 million annually. This includes data damage, stolen money, lost productivity, and post-attack disruptions.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation ranked Nigeria as the 16th country worst affected by cybercrime in 2020.

Experts emphasize the need for stronger cybersecurity measures. Adesina Sodiya, a professor of Computer Science and Information Security, warns that cyberattacks will continue to grow in sophistication.

He stresses the importance of building a cybersecurity curriculum and involving experts in creating effective strategies.

In response, NITDA plans to reduce cyberattacks by 40% by 2027. “As we digitize, we must build with security in mind,” said Kashifu Inuwa, director-general of NITDA.

The agency aims to implement comprehensive strategies to protect Nigeria’s burgeoning digital economy.

As Nigeria’s digital economy expands, it must address the growing cyber threats that accompany this progress. By enhancing cybersecurity measures and fostering collaboration among stakeholders, Nigeria can safeguard its digital future.

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