With deep cheekbones and twisted hair, 5 feet tall, he was called “Chinese Napoleon” by the media. He took part in the College Entrance Examination for three times, but the grade in math was so frustrating that he almost gave up the college dream. Nevertheless, he speaks fluent English which even made some people take him for a foreigner. He was the first one to touch the Internet world, though in the early years, he was saddled with bad names such as Liar and Madman. However, this strong-willed man was not easily put down by the sufferings, but tackled them ahead on and finally became a global ambassador for Chinese business and one of the world’s most powerful people. He is Jack Ma. The book thoroughly portraits the legendary story of this commercial magnate and recounts his ups and downs throughout these fifty years. From failing in the college entrance examination to realising his college dream, from being rejected for several times to finding a career as a teacher, from craving out to getting the company on the right track, from setting up the China Yellow Page despite opposition to creating the e-commerce empire Alibaba, from encountering the crisis of Taobao to leading the Alibaba to go public, Jack Ma never stopped climbing higher. Apart from his bumpy experience in starting business, the book also reveals specific aspects of Jack Ma’s life, including his family, his characteristics to his mood changes during these periods.
The social network has become so important in people’s lives that it has changed many of our habits. We automatically take photos of parties and upload them to our social media accounts; we enjoy commenting on Weibo as we watch television dramas; we refer to the rating from our friends before we purchase an item or go to a new restaurant. We express our opinions more, from what we have seen or experienced to the latest news and hot topics. We are bombarded by thousands of pieces of information every day. We have an impact on the lives of our friends as they have on ours. These subtle changes, when they have reached a certain maturity, will lead to a transformation. The media industry stands in the breach. People become feverish microblogging audience every time an important event occurs, and the ability to present information seems to flow from media to ordinary users at high speed. Next comes the transformation of marketing, as people are more likely to influence and be influenced by others. Massive user numbers and profits are generated in the vast social network that attracts a growing number of enterprises and start-ups to capitalise on the emerging opportunity.
Alipay (the subsidiary of Ant Financial Group) is probably the most well-known name in China. Chinese use this application several times a day: they pay through its QR scanning payment or manage their asset through its mutual fund – Yue’bao. But unlike its hot creation, Ant Financial was pretty much forgotten by the public. Born in 2004, it evolved from a small department of Taobao that housed only a handful of employees doing settlement work using the simplest spreadsheet of those days. Within a decade, it has established itself as the most valued internet finance enterprise in China transforming the entire financial industry with its massive data and powerful technology. The book tells of Alipay’s journey from “nobody” to the most widely-used payment system, and also records significant stages in its evolutionary history. The book also provides abundant reference and inspiration on entrepreneurial thinking, business concept, corporate culture, operating mode and personnel philosophy.
Jack Ma said Alipay’s independence from Taobao was an imperfect but correct decision. Its story of development not only mirrors Jack Ma’s transformation from a start up beginner looking for an angel investment to an entrepreneur who values independent business, but also traces all the steps of innovation and experimentation of the Alipay team – looking ahead and fearless as their leader Jack Ma. When the fast-growing internet market has cultivated mighty participants in the industry such as Wechat and JD.com, Alipay is urged to think hard about how to get ahead. With the launch of Alipay, Ant Financial has crossed borders in recent years – bringing to market products that are suitable for the average person, such as Zhima Credit and small loans for rural areas, so that they could gain access to the financial world; it exported a payment technology to keep track of the long-term development on the globe. Admirable, however, is that in the ever-changing environment, it has never lost the original dream that everyone should enjoy the convenience of the internet.
“I won’t invest in a football team nor a film company. I just want to make JD.com be the national online shop,” said Richard Liu, the founder of JD.In 1998, when JD was just a small counter dealing in optomagnetic products in Beijing, it barely survived in the fierce competition with a turnover of only few thousands every month. In a decade, it grew into China’s largest e-commerce company. By 2015, as recorded, the annual revenue of JD has reached 181.3 billion and the gross merchandise volume up to 462.7 billion.It is always at the forefront of technology and innovation; each step it took not only attracts wide public attention but also remarkably affects the whole e-commerce industry, whether it be the self-built B2C logistics mode in 2007 or the win-win cooperation with Tencent in 2014, which is another Chinese internet behemoth. All these hidden stories covering strategy making, corporate culture, personnel management and construction of finance and logistics as well as a wealth of Richard Liu’s illuminative business concepts are presented in this book. It is definitely a perfect choice for readers who are engaged in e-commerce and retail or particularly interested in these fields.The full edition is coming soon…