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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Product Description:

"Alibaba" is about Alibaba and its founder Jack Ma, China's Bill Gates. Ma's story is remarkable: despite growing up in China during the Cultural Revolution, in a period of total state control of the economy, he developed keen entrepreneurial instincts that would eventually allow him to recognise the Internet's ability to transform the way business is done around the world. He realised that an 'ecosystem' had to be built on the Net in order to create a standard way for businesses to operate and then set about creating that ecosystem; with Alibaba, the world's biggest business-to-business Web site, you can buy and sell everything, from acrylic blankets to acoustic components, air beds to air-separators, abrasive tools to anchors - and that's just the first letter of the alphabet!Unlike Gates, Ma recognised the potential of the Internet early on, and at critical times made strategic decisions that allowed him to leverage his company to rapid growth. From an initial investment of $60,000 in 1999, Alibaba is now worth around approximately $26 billion and is one of the most acclaimed Internet companies out there. If Microsoft is successful in buying Yahoo (which owns 39 percent of Alibaba), the long-term visions of Bill Gates and Jack Ma may join forces - a scenario to watch.

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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