Alibaba: The House That Jack Ma Built Paperback – Illustrated, 20 March 2018
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From the Back Cover
In just a decade and half, Jack Ma, a man from modest beginnings who started out as an English teacher, founded Alibaba and built it into one of the world's largest companies, an e-commerce empire on which hundreds of millions of Chinese consumers depend.
Duncan Clark first met Jack in 1999 in the small apartment where Jack founded Alibaba. Granted unprecedented access to a wealth of new material including exclusive interviews, Clark draws on his own experience as an early adviser to Alibaba and two decades in China chronicling the Internet's impact on the country to create an authoritative, compelling narrative account of Alibaba's rise.
Clark tells Alibaba's tale in the context of China's momentous economic and social changes, illuminating an unlikely corporate titan as never before.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
But this book is of course not only about the Chinese business environment. And as the phrase goes, I came for one thing and stayed for another. So stay I did, as this book has a nice flow of writing on a topic that is so fascinating that makes it hard to put down.
At its core, the book is about the internet evolution in China and the companies that emerge from the new dawn of technology. While the narrative follows the fascinating story of Jack Ma and the eventual rise of Alibaba Group, the book also provide the background stories of Alibaba’s partners and competitors that set up the context and the complicated environment in which Alibaba operates.
Moreover, although the book has the usual rags-to-riches narrative for Jack Ma, it doesn’t focus that much on the “Chinese dreams” but more on the practical tools and tactics that Ma implement to earn the success, in which chapter 11 summarize it neatly. And just like many excellent business biographies, this book also include all the struggles, the boardroom wars, the money lost along the way, and the larger than life characters that put the human side of every top notch executives mentioned.
In short, this is an excellent book on one of the hottest and most crucial companies in the world, a book that gives almost like an insider expose on the business environment in China.
PS: Jack Ma eventually re-emerged in the media after “laying low”, and few weeks later Ant Group announce that they will revamp themselves into a financial holding company under the supervision of People’s Bank of China. And so, the story in the book continues.
The description of the volatily of the .com start- ups was hair-raising for the uninitiated. The convergence of sheer luck, keeping your powder dry and recognition of opportunities in addition to hard work made Jack so successful. He proved that western companies have a lot to learn about the Chinese business climate.
Written in a way that was understandable for for the low-tech reader.