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Library Journal Review 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 taker, Jack Ma. There are two sides to every fight, and both invariably get hurt in a battle. Jack Ma does not understand this conventional wisdom, for he loves a good fight.

The tougher the fight, the more he enjoys it, and the harder the work, the happier he becomes. The logic may seem strange to some, but Ma has followed this approach since he was a boy. Jack Ma was born on September 10, , into a family that lived on the shores of West Lake in Hangzhou. Ma legend has it that his family was common and ordinary, but ordinary families do not live on the shores of West Lake.

Ma's mother and father spent their lives as professional performers of ping tan , a traditional style of storytelling and ballad singing performed in Suzhou, in southern China. As a result of this background, Ma grew up speaking the Suzhou dialect with his parents, and he has strong attachment to the city and the traditions of that historic place. Suzhou has two kinds of people, as the saying goes: One does not have to look far into Ma's background to find the roots of his astonishing ability to extemporize onstage and his ability to inspire high performance through his speeches.

From childhood, Ma watched and absorbed the training of professional performers, especially his parents. His own performance style may be attributed to that early exposure: Ma uses simple and direct language to explain precisely what he means. He wastes no words--and he gets to the point. Nonetheless, Ma was not the kind of child who liked to talk much or have anything to do with achievement. Like many boys his age, he was regarded as a rebel: Much of this striking out against others may have had to do with his status as a social outcast.

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The Cultural Revolution in China began shortly after Ma was born, and he grew up in an environment of extreme social tension. The family was on the wrong side of political correctness: Ma was therefore the child of a family that, legally and morally, was regarded as beneath the concern of society. The family was classified as belonging to the "five blacks," meaning the five categories of people who had earned the hatred of the masses.

These groups included landlords, rich peasants, counterrevolutionaries, evildoers, and rightists, all of whom could be loosely summarized as people on the wrong side of the political spectrum. Methods of persecution against the five blacks included beating and torture. Perhaps to mute a kind of rage against the world in which he found himself, Ma immersed himself in the lore and romanticism of martial arts novels.

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These are called wu xia novels in Chinese. Wu refers to things martial, and xia pronounced shia are people adept in martial arts but also steeped in a chivalrous approach to justice, people who belong to a brotherhood of like-minded outlaws. The link between wu xia novels and Ma's heritage is simple: Suzhou is in Jiangsu; Hangzhou is in neighboring Zhejiang.

The novel incorporated folktales and legends from as early as the twelfth century. By maintaining a profound emotional link with the past, Ma was able in his childhood to ride through a desperate period of social unrest in China. Social unrest during the Cultural Revolution was a product of many factors including, for a large segment of society, personal and prolonged acquaintance with hunger.

The problems of the period known as the Three Years of Natural Disaster in China were originally attributed to natural causes, but are now understood to be due partly to natural disasters and some 60 percent to mismanagement. These hard years began after the Great Leap Forward of , when national policies disrupted the normal raising and distribution of food.

'GREATEST SUCCESS STORY' (ygixymig.tk Ma) - Motivational video

In the ensuing years of famine, some thirty million people are said to have died as a direct or indirect result of not having enough to eat. Children born during or shortly after this harsh time were unavoidably stunted in their natural growth. Ma's diminutive size may or may not have resulted from malnourishment, but his feisty nature is evidence that, however challenged, he was determined to survive.

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Perhaps because he was so small, Ma always wanted to become a kind of martial arts master in life. Profoundly influenced by wu xia novels, he fought with anybody who gave him any reason to put up his fists, but he fought mainly to stick up for and defend his friends, an acceptable code of honor to him. The unfortunate thing about Ma's pugnacious attitude toward life was that he was, and remains, skinny and short.

He fought often, and he often lost. Whether you're seeking to understand China's meteoric rise, or just searching for the next Google, Yahoo! Hardcover , pages. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about alibaba , please sign up.

Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Jan 31, Laura rated it did not like it Shelves: This book should have been far better than it was: So, where was the editor? Why no footnotes supporting the claims, quotes and statistics cited? Why no complex sentences?

Ma "feels", "knows", "states" This book should have been far better than it was: Ma "feels", "knows", "states" but there's no evidence other than the author's say-so that he actually does so. There is an index, a glossary and a timeline, but no citations - critical if this is to be taken as more than mere hagiography. Why Collins Business felt that this was a finished product eludes me. Yes, I read the ARC, but the changes needed for me to recommend this as a resource would have resulted in a completely new book.

Dec 26, Jonathan rated it did not like it. While it was interesting learning a bit about Ma and alibaba, this book comes across as a glowing PR puff piece. The goal of the book seems to have been to suck up to Ma rather than actually tell the story of the man and his company.

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Several times, the authors refer to events and stories that may or may not be true, saying as such. Also, the writing itself is horrific. It is appalling that someone like Martha Avery who is While it was interesting learning a bit about Ma and alibaba, this book comes across as a glowing PR puff piece. It is appalling that someone like Martha Avery who is a company president and an MBA, so you would assume she's at least reasonably intelligent would write like this or would permit something this bad to be released.

May 31, Aditya rated it it was ok Shelves: Horribly written, this book still gives a glimpse into what made AliBaba the massive success it is. As other reviews have noted, the book seems like a propaganda piece for Jack Ma. I think it is worse. It reads like a school girl writing about her favorite Bollywood hero.

The sad part is that Jack Ma has indeed done something remarkable.

alibaba: The Inside Story Behind Jack Ma and the Creation of the World's Biggest Online Marketplace

The least he deserves is a balanced review. Hope other books are written lest this caricature of a book remains the only record.

I give two stars for Jack Ma. Th Horribly written, this book still gives a glimpse into what made AliBaba the massive success it is. The book itself deserves one. Jan 17, Savil Srivastava rated it liked it. This book was an interesting introduction to Jack Ma and the company he created. The first few chapters give inspiring insight into Jack's energy and how he grew from his humble beginnings to recognize the potential of the internet to transform how Chinese businesses can be run.

Unfortunately, the second half reads like some Alibaba Inc. Hence the 3 stars for what is actually a 4. Jul 20, Matthew rated it did not like it Shelves: This counts as journalism?

Informative in some respects and thus perhaps a necessary read for investors, but otherwise utterly one-sided. Co-authors Liu Shiying and Martha Avery are apparently respectively a journalist and head of a media consulting company, and a Chinese business author with a Wharton MBA. They should be ashamed of themselves.

Mar 13, Natalie rated it really liked it Shelves: The book may be a door to an e-commerce market. Good enough to get to know what kind of a person is Ma Yun, brings a little into the world of one of the best chinese entrepreneurs. Sep 17, Jia Yuan rated it really liked it. Told a good story about Jack Ma, Alibaba. Inspiring and had quite a bit of quoteworthy lines. Definitely worth a reread in the future. Oct 06, Duncan rated it liked it.