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  • Alibaba

  • The House That Jack Ma Built
  • By: Duncan Clark
  • Narrated by: Jim Meskimen
  • Length: 9 hrs and 9 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (369 ratings)

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Alibaba cover art

Alibaba

By: Duncan Clark
Narrated by: Jim Meskimen
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Publisher's Summary

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. Alibaba's $25 billion IPO in 2014 was the largest global IPO ever. A Rockefeller of his age 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 advisor to Alibaba and 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 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 further overseas, including in the US?

Clark tells Alibaba's tale in the context of China's momentous economic and social changes, illuminating an unlikely corporate titan as never before.

©2016 Duncan Clark (P)2016 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about Alibaba

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Inspiring but narrated by wrong person

The story is inspiring and insightful, unfortunately the narrator doesn't pronounce the names correctly. Chinese are tonal language if he say it with different tones it will have different meaning or no meaning at all.
The wrongly pronounce take some of the joy out of listening to this book

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4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Good book, wrong narrator!

I'm a Chinese raised and educated in New Zealand. I found it very difficult to understand who and what the narrator was referring to because he obviously hasn't learnt any pin yin. Huge let down for what would otherwise be a great read!

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3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Good story but cringeworthy Chinese pronunciation

Great story. Enjoyed it. But for something with so many Chinese names in it, you would think the narrator would have a reasonable ability in Chinese pronunciation. Needs help

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2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Good, solid business biography

Having listened to a lot of business biographies, this one moves at a decent pace and gets into the right details. A balance of personal and business narrative as they both go through different challenges. I found this really helpful and leads me to want to know more about China's tech landscape.

What was annoying was how the narrator mispronounces many of the Chinese names and words, it would have been good if the narrator nailed them before recording the book. It throws you out of what is otherwise a well narrated book.

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2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Poor pronunciation

Great story only marred by poor pronunciation of Chinese names and phrases. A beginners lesson in phonetics should have been advised. If you’re going to narrate a story with foreign words then assign someone capable of using the correct phonetics or train them first.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Annoying narrator can't pronounce Mandarin words.

I found it hard to listen to the narrator fumble his way through every word it Mandarin, it was difficult to listen to. Why wouldn't you just Google how to pronounce the word!!

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Great performance and story

If you are lookong for inspiration, don't buy it. if you inspired but looking for a push to put in the work, don't buy it. Only buy this if you want an appreciation for how difficult the road to success is.

Jack Ma's story is woven between the realities of doing business in China and the US. More so this narrative tells of the rise of the internet in a country that tries to control as much as it can. It is a wonder that Jack and his peers have survived and thrived in that country, a testament to the agile and manouverability of entrepreneurs when they need to find their space.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Good stories but poor narration

Agree with previous comments, content/stories are great, the only drawback is the terrible narration. Strongly suggest the narrator take some effort to learn how to pronounce those Chinese specific names/terms - don't think that's a high expectation for a book about Alibaba, is it?

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

What an awesome audio book on jack ms

Absolutely awesome book, this gives a documentary style look into jack ma’s back story, now I totally understand why he went missing, and I actually thought he was a majority share holder of Ali Baba, such a creative mind and great at getting the smart people to work together.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Abs
  • 02-06-2022

more about China than Jack Ma

good without being great. doesn't go into enough detail and is more about China than Jack Ma.

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