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.