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Alibaba's Ma goes on hiring drive
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Alibaba Group Holding Ltd Chief Executive Officer Jack Ma said that he's on a recruiting drive to lure Silicon Valley engineers to China and that the company needs 5,000 more employees this year to keep up with demand.

The economic slowdown is a "treasure," letting the company recruit employees from Google Inc and Microsoft Corp, Ma said on Friday in an interview in San Francisco. The company plans to double its United States staff to about 50, he said, according to Bloomberg News.

Ma's plans are part of a bid to expand Alibaba's reach and attract more users outside China. The company, which owns the Alibaba.com and Taobao.com e-commerce Websites, aims to boost the company's workforce to 17,000 this year. The economic slump won't dent Alibaba's growth, Ma said.

"We've been preparing for globalization and to have more users outside China in two years," said Ma. "Now it's time to take action."

Ma and 10 senior managers from China are in the US for the next two weeks. They're meeting with eight companies, including eBay Inc, Amazon.com Inc and Microsoft Corp, to try to form partnerships, according to Ma.

(Shanghai Daily March 2, 2009)

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