31/03/2015 12:11 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

Jack Ma Meets Modi, Discusses Ways To Help Indian Small Businesses

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BEIJING, CHINA - MARCH 21: (CHINA OUT) Jack Ma, Chairman of Alibaba attends China Development Forum 2015 at Diaoyutai State Guesthouse on March 21, 2015 in Beijing, China. China Development Forum 2015 was held with the theme of 'China's Economy in the 'New Normal'' at Diaoyutai State Guesthouse on Saturday in Beijing. (Photo by ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images)

NEW DELHI — Looking to expand its presence in India, Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba's Chairman Jack Ma today met Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as he came on a visit to India for the second time in just about four months. In his meeting with Modi here today, Ma discussed how Alibaba can help empower small businesses in India, the ecommerce major said without elaborating further.

"Had a very good meeting with Jack Ma," Modi tweeted.

"Jack meets Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss how Alibaba can help empower small businesses in India," Alibaba Group separately tweeted. During his last India visit in November 2014, Ma could not meet Modi.

One of Alibaba's key strategies over the next three years is to globalise so that the firm can help more small businesses around the globe. Ma, the richest man in China with a fortune of about USD 24.4 billion, founded Alibaba in 1999 in Hangzhou, the capital of east China's Zhejiang Province. According to research firm IDC, Alibaba is the world's largest online and mobile commerce company by GMV (gross merchandise value) in 2013. During his last visit here, Ma had said Alibaba was keen to invest more funds in India and will work with Indian technology entrepreneurs as he believes Internet can transform the country's future.

The Hangzhou-based firm will "invest more in India, work with Indian entrepreneurs and technology companies," he had said at that time.

Alibaba, which in September 2014 raised USD 25 billion in a record initial public share offering, already has on its site a large number of small Indian businesses selling goods ranging from spices to chocolates to tea.

"Over the next three years, one of the key strategies for Alibaba is to globalise and to make sure that we can help more small businesses around the globe, use our services to do businesses," Ma had said at a business event here.

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