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Alibaba's World: How a Remarkable Chinese Company is Changing the Face of Global Business
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Alibaba's World: How a Remarkable Chinese Company is Changing the Face of Global Business

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  1,787 ratings  ·  211 reviews
**One of six of The Wall Street Journal's "Best Business Books of 2015"**

In September 2014, a Chinese company that most Americans had never heard of held the largest IPO in history – bigger than Google, Facebook and Twitter combined. Alibaba, now the world's largest e-commerce company, mostly escaped Western notice for over ten years, while building a customer base more th
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published May 12th 2015 by St. Martin's Press (first published January 1st 2015)
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Average rating 3.89  · 
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Jonathan Mckay
"I see a lot of US companies sending professional managers to China. They are making their boss in the US happy, but not the Chinese customer."

Every tech giant needs a book, and this is the first book that seems to offer a reasonable picture of Alibaba. Unlike most tech-business-history books (Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship, and Betrayal, The Facebook Effect: The Inside Story of the Company That is Connecting the World, Marissa Mayer and the Fight to Save Yahoo! and
Girish Mathrubootham
Good read. Lacked key insights and lessons learnt. Would have been great with insights from Jack himself.Still a decent book to understand doing business in China.
Suraj Thakkar
Jan 15, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook
I wish this book had more examples of how the engineering and sales team worked to take Alibaba where it is today. The author of the book was one of the senior managers at Alibaba working closely with Jack Ma and handling the PR work at Alibaba. He has described the Alibaba journey from a very high level mostly talking about the differences in chinese management style and the western management style . There are couple of chapters on the famous ebay vs Alibaba rivalry which i enjoyed. The initia ...more
Oct 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is a story about Alibaba, and its relationship with EBay, Yahoo and Google and the Chinese bureaucracy. Erisman provides an insider view and information about the world’s largest e-commerce site. From its start in Hong Kong to its present day dominance of the online China trade. Erisman went to work for Alibaba in its early days. Erisman was a Chinese speaking American public relation expert. Erisman tells the story of Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba and how he built the company into the gi ...more
Honest and immensely readable account of the Alibaba success story.

3.5 to 4 stars. Recommended.
Jun 20, 2017 rated it liked it
This book is a quick read. It gives a good overview of the Alibaba universe and its beginnings, but everything seems a bit "on the surface"... ...more
An oversimplified telling of Alibaba's story ...more
Feb 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
I guess I just needed a 'light' reading compared to more dense books I am used to read.

Part of the Alibaba's and Jack Ma's history
Saifuddin Salim
Dec 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Pretty good read, I would rate it more if there are more insight on how Alibaba came about. Despite that, Porter Erisman done a wonderful job, telling the story of his's Alibaba story, with a pretty balance of telling the bad and the good side of Alibaba. From what I can tell, I believe Porter does do gives a honest impression of such phenomenon and his relationship with Alibaba. Note: this book is centered more on Porter Erisman side of the story and not Jack Ma, I think is which better than he ...more
Yeshwanth  nag M
Oct 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Today is tough. Tomorrow is tougher. The day after tomorrow is beautiful. But most people die tomorrow night and don’t get the chance to see the sun rise the day after tomorrow." This quote characterises a former English school teacher turned entrepreneur - Jack Ma's simple yet powerful philosophy - Optimism. Porter Erisman gives us an insider glimpse of how a startup called Alibaba grew in 15 years, from 0 to a $220 Billion company , changing, rather creating the Chinese ecommerce market. Pers ...more
Oct 31, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jack Ma has created a remarkable company in a short span of time. He is one of the most under rated global entrepreneurs today. An English teacher, who says that he cannot understand computers must have had a great native intelligence to have created such a formidable company that successfully shut down its competitor ebay in China, got into the big league after acquiring Yahoo of China and now one the way to becoming the most valuable company in the world. Beware Apple.

The author, who had work
Jan 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
I started reading this book with an intention that the practical steps Alibaba took to be successful will be shared. (They were not). The book is more if a memoir of the author at Alibaba. The book is still interesting and not boring. The author argues that the Cina government had no influence in Alibaba's growth. While thay may be true the Alibaba might have succeeded because the Chinese government was a barrier to other international Bussinesses like eBay. Ofcourse the author does not highligh ...more
Ankit Agrawal
Oct 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
The story of Alibaba's (and its founder Jack Ma's) evolution from a company in an apartment to the behemoth it is today. Written by a former Vice President of the company in charge of its PR who went through the whole cycle.

Key management takeaways include the importance of cultural context in deciding business strategy, the importance of long term and visionary thinking, an insight into the tactical maneuvers- clean and dirty- that are a part and parcel of corporate battles and the tightrope w
Garima Mamgain
Jul 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
It's ironic that I read a book on Jack Ma when Jack Ma would famously never read a book on any company to ensure he never lets their strategies seep in !!
That apart I loved the book. It's a fast read and full of insights on a company which I personally knew very little about. However, this isn't a neutral view - criticism of Jack Ma is almost missing in the book.
A must read for anyone intrigued by the Global Chinese firm.
Arnab Padhi
Jun 26, 2016 rated it it was ok
I picked the book for a little motivation and to know how Alibaba came into existence but Alas the book doesn't talk about that. It talks about how the author managed his stay in the company and at certain instances illustrates the ideologies of Jack Ma. The only notable feature of the book is "the forty points" or suggestions which the author donates to the reader. If you are looking Alibaba and its history right from its inception then this book won't give such insights. ...more
Swapnil Tembe
Jul 01, 2015 rated it liked it
A perfect book for entrepreneurs who are in China or otherwise. But the book soon after the start diverts from the main idea and becomes a sort of brand promotion exercise. But you just can't ignore the brilliance of the man behind Alibaba. His ideas are powerful and simple. The author not being an author could not produce a literal genius but overall surely it is a good read. ...more
Sony Mathew
Jan 16, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: entrepreneurial
All about Alibaba's history and Jack Ma's vision, ambition and confidence. All the up's and down's of the company have also been portrayed as it is. Porter has presented all the facts and figures in a very nice and not at all boring way. Indeed the story of Alibaba is amazing as it rose from humble beginnings to the most valued company in the world. ...more
Jingwei Shi
Mar 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: tech
One of the best books about Alibaba. It portrays Alibaba from an insider point of view. Many of the strengths and weaknesses of Alibaba were well explained. A definite must read for anyone who wants to learn more about Alibaba.
Apr 30, 2015 rated it liked it
A bit simplistic, but still great at providing insights to Jack Ma - who is unapproachable to many non-Chinese. A fast read, but don't expect anything particularly deep or insightful. ...more
Sep 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Excellent account (more an overview than an in-depth book) of the Alibaba story. Makes for an interesting read.
Bobby Punnen
Nov 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Once you read this, you will feel every entrepreneur is followings Jack's school of thoughts. A must read ...more
Mar 09, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Not much of interest in this tale. Better to read executive summary or Wikipedia report. Wanted to learn more about Alibaba but this is a slow read. And not very interesting.
Mar 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
I loved it! My youtube review of the book can be found here: ...more
Scott Holstad
Feb 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: asia, business
This was a pretty good book, especially considering it's five years old, because a heck of a lot has happened since then, both in global business and in Alibaba's tremendous growth to the point of literal world dominance. And if you're unfamiliar with Alibaba -- and I suspect most Westerners probably are -- you shouldn't be and pretty soon you won't be even if you wanted to because that company is poised to take over and virtually demolish Amazon, Google, Samsung, Apple -- just about everyone. T ...more
Nov 19, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
I found the book to be enlightening - but then I have had limited personal exposure to China's business environment (and Alibaba) and it made for an interesting read…

The book has been written by an insider (Porter) - an employee working in marketing and public relations - he captures the journey of Alibaba thru inside stories and presents a view into its culture and way of working… he even presents an insight into the vision and the beliefs that have led to their growth… but the story fails to b
Meeta Lee
Feb 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Chris Raastad
Mar 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business
Easy Read, Great Story, Jack Ma is one of kind, Not so much usable knowledge

Jack Ma was English Teacher who started off making $20 a month. He and his team of founders started the company in an apartment in Ghounzouh China. His greatest asset was his incompetency in technology, “any Alibaba feature must pass the Jack Ma test”. The man had a dream, to build company 102 years, to bring China to the internet, and to inspire a new generation of Chinese entrepreneurship. Despite all odds, an unlikely
Eustacia Tan
Feb 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
This was one of the books that I got at the Popular fair last year. I was interested in this because I don’t know much about the Chinese Internet despite black zemi being all about the internet.

Alibaba’s World was written by Porter Erisman, who worked at Alibaba from 2000 to 2008, when it was growing from startup to the juggernaut that it is today. The book focuses mainly on the competition with eBay China and the acquisition of Yahoo! China. At the end, there’s a brief overview of the company a
Arnab Mukherjee
Oct 10, 2017 rated it liked it
Source- One of my colleagues suggested me this book and as Jack Ma has started fascinating me due to success story of Alibaba, it was no brainer to choose this book.

Review- The book has been written by Mr. Porter, one of the first foreign employees of Alibaba. Porter working in Branding & Media Relation function plucked most of the incidents from public events. So, the good thing is you will read about Jack's charismatic character & oratorial skills. The not so good thing is that you will get ve
Jitin Nair
Nov 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Well, it was my first book on China's entrepreneurs. It gave me insiders look on the greatest business story to come out of China; Alibaba and Jack Ma. I had two books on my mind before choosing this book. Alibaba: The house that Jack Ma built and this one. I chose this because of an insider's take on how a relatively unknown firm grow into the behemoth it is today.

From the dramatic yet simple mannerisms of Jack Ma to the very out-of-the-blue flamboyant IPO of Alibaba, the story is engrossing.
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Porter Erisman worked as a vice president at Alibaba Group from 2000-2008, joining the company just as it moved out of founder Jack Ma's apartment. He is the writer and director of Crocodile in the Yangtze: The Alibaba Story, an award-winning documentary about the rise of Alibaba and its famous founder. Erisman is also the bestselling author of Alibaba's World: How a Remarkable Chinese Company is ...more

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