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Alibaba
Cover of Alibaba
Alibaba
The House That Jack Ma Built
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In just a decade and half Jack Ma, a man who rose from humble beginnings and started his career as an English teacher, founded and built Alibaba into the second largest Internet company in the world. The company's $25 billion IPO in 2014 was the world's largest, valuing the company more than Facebook or Coca Cola. Alibaba today runs the e-commerce services that hundreds of millions of Chinese consumers depend on every day, providing employment and income for tens of millions more. A Rockefeller of his age, Jack has become an icon for the country's booming private sector, and as the face of the new, consumerist China is courted by heads of state and CEOs from around the world.
Granted unprecedented access to a wealth of new material including exclusive interviews, Clark draws on his own first-hand experience of key figures integral to Alibaba's rise to create an authoritative, compelling narrative account of how Alibaba and its charismatic creator have transformed the way that Chinese exercise their new found economic freedom, inspiring entrepreneurs around the world and infuriating others, turning the tables on the Silicon Valley giants who have tried to stand in his way.
Duncan explores vital questions about the company's past, present, and future: How, from such unremarkable origins, did Jack Ma build Alibaba? What explains his relentless drive and his ability to outsmart his competitors? With over 80% of China's e-commerce market, how long can the company hope to maintain its dominance? As the company sets its sights on the country's financial and media markets, are there limits to Alibaba's ambitions, or will the Chinese government act to curtail them? And as it set up shop from LA and San Francisco to Seattle, how will Alibaba grow its presence and investments in the US and other international markets?
Clark tells Alibaba's tale within the wider story of China's economic explosion—the rise of the private sector and the expansion of Internet usage—that haver powered the country's rise to become the world's second largest economy and largest Internet population, twice the size of the United States. He also explores the political and social context for these momentous changes. An expert insider with unrivaled connections, Clark has a deep understanding of Chinese business mindset. He illuminates an unlikely corporate titan as never before, and examines the key role his company has played in transforming China while increasing its power and presence worldwide.

In just a decade and half Jack Ma, a man who rose from humble beginnings and started his career as an English teacher, founded and built Alibaba into the second largest Internet company in the world. The company's $25 billion IPO in 2014 was the world's largest, valuing the company more than Facebook or Coca Cola. Alibaba today runs the e-commerce services that hundreds of millions of Chinese consumers depend on every day, providing employment and income for tens of millions more. A Rockefeller of his age, Jack has become an icon for the country's booming private sector, and as the face of the new, consumerist China is courted by heads of state and CEOs from around the world.
Granted unprecedented access to a wealth of new material including exclusive interviews, Clark draws on his own first-hand experience of key figures integral to Alibaba's rise to create an authoritative, compelling narrative account of how Alibaba and its charismatic creator have transformed the way that Chinese exercise their new found economic freedom, inspiring entrepreneurs around the world and infuriating others, turning the tables on the Silicon Valley giants who have tried to stand in his way.
Duncan explores vital questions about the company's past, present, and future: How, from such unremarkable origins, did Jack Ma build Alibaba? What explains his relentless drive and his ability to outsmart his competitors? With over 80% of China's e-commerce market, how long can the company hope to maintain its dominance? As the company sets its sights on the country's financial and media markets, are there limits to Alibaba's ambitions, or will the Chinese government act to curtail them? And as it set up shop from LA and San Francisco to Seattle, how will Alibaba grow its presence and investments in the US and other international markets?
Clark tells Alibaba's tale within the wider story of China's economic explosion—the rise of the private sector and the expansion of Internet usage—that haver powered the country's rise to become the world's second largest economy and largest Internet population, twice the size of the United States. He also explores the political and social context for these momentous changes. An expert insider with unrivaled connections, Clark has a deep understanding of Chinese business mindset. He illuminates an unlikely corporate titan as never before, and examines the key role his company has played in transforming China while increasing its power and presence worldwide.

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About the Author-
  • Duncan Clark, a former Morgan Stanley investment banker and fluent Mandarin speaker, has lived and worked in China for more than twenty years. He heads a team of more than one hundred at BDA China, the investment advisory firm he founded in Beijing in 1994. An expert on China's Internet sector, Clark is a former visiting scholar at Stanford University, where he welcomed Jack Ma on stage as a keynote speaker, along with the leaders of other leading China Internet firms including Baidu, Sina, and Tencent.

Reviews-
  • Kirkus

    March 1, 2016
    A study of the multibillion-dollar Chinese e-commerce conglomerate and its charismatic founder. Technology and financial expert Clark astutely profiles Jack Ma, the 51-year-old entrepreneur behind Alibaba, "the Amazon of China" that has become the world's largest online shopping mall. Having met Ma in 1999, the author recalls the former English lecturer's remarkably ambitious spirit and his intentions to overthrow the giants of Silicon Valley with the development of an unrivaled Internet-based business. Ma was backed by only a small handful of co-founders (his wife included), but the author pitched in and became an adviser to Alibaba in its infancy as it developed and gained a competitive edge through what Ma calls the "iron triangle" business plan: e-commerce, logistics, and finance, all of which Clark outlines in lucid detail. Further embellishing his portrait, the author also draws on his 20-year tenure living and working in China, and he shows the great impact of the multifaceted online experience on the country's financial and cultural climates. Clark cites the 2008 global financial crisis as the tipping point when China's economic focus turned inward to boost its own economy instead of primarily exporting goods overseas. Alibaba took the lead, launching itself with an online payment system and a host of subsidiary sites, which attracted small businesses to sell merchandise through their Web portals with no fees. Noting that the company remains governed by a "customer first, employees second, and shareholders third" philosophy, Clark contrasts Alibaba's camaraderie-centered campus culture, including employee incentives and commitment awards, with its initial struggle to find startup investors and earn commercial credibility. The author frequently highlights Ma's quirky, often contrarian personality and risk-taking management style. A particularly vigorous chapter on the struggle between Alibaba and e-commerce titans eBay and Yahoo for profitability and marketplace saturation in China dramatically demonstrates the volatility and competitiveness between businesses seeking to harness Internet consumerism. Useful, business-minded reporting on an unconventional corporate magnate, containing both corporate and human-interest perspectives.

    COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Library Journal

    November 15, 2015
    Former Morgan Stanley banker Clark, who's lived in China for over 20 years, explains how Alibaba became the world's second largest Internet company. With a 50,000-copy first printing.

    Copyright 2015 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO of WPP "Anybody who thinks the Chinese just copy or steal technology from the West should read this book and think again. Jack Ma is part Bill Gates, part Steve Jobs, part Larry Page, part Sergei Brin, and part Mark Zuckerberg all rolled into one."
  • Kirkus Reviews "Useful, business-minded reporting on an unconventional corporate magnate, containing both corporate and human-interest perspectives."
  • Library Journal "This absorbing and well-written portrayal of Ma's character, and his role in Alibaba's development will appeal to a wide range of readers."
  • Wall Street Journal "A clean and compelling narrative...[Clark] tells the story with flair."
  • The Economist "A fascinating new book."
  • Financial Times "A must-read for anyone hoping to navigate China's new economy".
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The House That Jack Ma Built
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