An engrossing, insider’s account of how a teacher built one of the world’s most valuable companies rivaling Walmart and Amazon and forever reshaped the global economy
In just a decade and a 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. In 2014, Alibaba’s $25 billion IPO was the largest global IPO in history. A Rockefeller of his time, who is courted by CEOs and presidents around the world, Jack is an icon for China’s booming private sector and the gatekeeper to hundreds of millions of middle-class consumers.
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 as well as his two decades in China chronicling the Internet’s impact on the country to create an authoritative, compelling narrative account of Alibaba’s rise.
How did Jack overcome his humble origins and early failures to achieve massive success with Alibaba How did he outsmart rival entrepreneurs from both China and Silicon Valley Can Alibaba maintain its 80 percent market share As it forges ahead into finance and entertainment, are there limits to Alibaba’s ambitions How does the Chinese government view its rise Will Alibaba expand farther overseas, including into the United States
Clark tells Alibaba’s tale in the context of China’s momentous economic and social changes, illuminating an unlikely corporate titan as never before.
About the Author
Duncan Clark was raised in the United Kingdom, the United States, and France, and has been based in Beijing since 1994, after four years as a technology investment banker with Morgan Stanley in London and Hong Kong. He first met Jack Ma in 1999, and worked as a consult with Alibaba in its early years. In 1994, he founded the leading investment advisory firm BDA China. An expert on China's Internet sector, Clark has been invited to Stanford University as a Visiting Scholar, where the co-founded the "China 2.0" research program. He lives in Beijing.
"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." -- Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO of WPP
"Useful, business-minded reporting on an unconventional corporate magnate, containing both corporate and human-interest perspectives." -- Kirkus Reviews
"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." -- Library Journal
"A clean and compelling narrative...[Clark] tells the story with flair." -- Wall Street Journal
"A fascinating new book." -- The Economist
"A must-read for anyone hoping to navigate China's new economy". -- Financial Times