alibaba: The Inside Story Behind Jack Ma and the Creation of the World's Biggest Online Marketplace

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9780061672194: alibaba: The Inside Story Behind Jack Ma and the Creation of the World's Biggest Online Marketplace

The first in-depth look at the multibillion-dollar company Alibaba.com—known to many as "China's eBay"—and the inspirational story behind the man who created it.

A bestseller in China and now translated into English and updated with recent events, Alibaba by Liu Shiying and Martha Avery tells the remarkable story behind the Internet phenomenon Alibaba.com and its founder Jack Ma, a man Barron's named one of the World's Top 30 CEOs in 2008. Ma's rise to prominence presents a riveting story: Despite growing up in China during the Cultural Revolution—in a period of total state control of the economy—he developed the keen entrepreneurial instincts that propelled him to billionaire status and enabled him to build a company outside the usual government channels. These instincts and habits incorporated martial arts training and allowed him to recognize, early on, that the Internet could leverage his company to rapid growth and also transform the way business is done around the world.

Alibaba.com, where businesses can buy and sell everything from air beds to zippers, started with a modest initial investment of $60,000 and has grown exponentially since its founding in 1999 to become the world's biggest business-to-business Web site. In 2007 it became the second largest IPO in history (after Google), and Fast Company has named it one of the world's most innovative companies. As a result, smart investors and technology insiders will be keeping a close eye on Alibaba for years to come. Whether you're seeking to understand China's meteoric rise, or just searching for the next Google, Yahoo!, or Amazon, Alibaba is crucial reading.

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About the Author:

Liu Shiying is a journalist, CEO of Guangtian Xiangshi Culture Company, and chairman of the board of GT-SUNSTONE, a company that focuses on media consulting. He also serves as deputy secretary general of the Asian Capital Forum and is a consultant for the CCTV program Winning in China. Author of several business publications, he is working closely with CITIC Press and CCTV on a series of books and programs about major business personalities in China. He lives in Beijing.



Martha Avery is president of Avery Press, Inc., which works with CITIC Press in bringing Chinese intellectual property to a Western market as well as bringing Western authors and their works to China. She holds a BA in Chinese and Japanese languages, an MBA from the Wharton School, and has worked for years in publishing and related media business in Japan, Hong Kong, China, and Mongolia. Ms. Avery is also co-editor-in-chief of a forthcoming volume on Chinese banking and finance published by John Wiley & Sons.

Review:

“[Alibaba is] entertaining. Avery occasionally gives the story a mystical air with allusions to proverbs and martial art...Avery has turned the reverential original into a highly readable tale.” (Financial Times)

“The story of how he built his fortune is not well known. Inevitably, Liu Shiying and Martha Avery, the authors of “Alibaba,” tell us as much about how business works in China as about Mr. Ma’s entrepreneurial achievement.” (Wall Street Journal)

“Ma’s rise is worth digesting. How he progressed quickly from ignorance of the Internet to mastery of the new technology — to overcoming official Chinese resistance — will help American readers realize how surreal establishing capitalism in a quasi-Communist nation can feel.” (USA Today)

“This business history discusses one of the most successful global Internet companies, and, to make it even more interesting, it is also a biography of Alibaba’s eccentric founder, the visionary, and entrepreneurial risk take, Jack Ma... [an] accessible inside look at Chinese e-commerce.” (Library Journal)

“[A]n inspirational story of perseverance.” (Booklist)

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