The King of Ecommerce in China !
Jack Ma is the King of ecommerce in China !
The initial public offering of the imminence of Alibaba Group, the largest conglomerate e -commerce in China, reads as another scary story of China Inc. The IPO could value the group as 120 billion dollars, making it the third largest Internet company after Google and Amazon. In 2012 , gross on two sites in the affiliate transactions - Alibaba Taobao and Tmall alone reached 160 billion dollars, more than eBay and Amazon combined. Forbes called the company " a threat to Amazon , eBay, Wal -Mart and everyone " because it can undermine global distribution selling cheap Chinese goods not online and worldwide . On 11 November, the Chinese equivalent of our Black Friday retail D -Day , Alibaba has handled more than $ 5.75 billion in transactions, the highest ever recorded in a single day by a business website online any where .sources linkedin
Alibaba as a former employee, Aliren (Ali - person like Alibaba calls its employees and former ), I am proud of the accomplishments of the company. But Alibaba could I know go beyond its domestic market to become a global consumer giant , or is all this talk yet another exaggerated fear of China rule the world ?
History of the FounderDuring my first management meeting in early 2007 , I heard founder and CEO Jack Ma said that Alibaba is a great company , not because it has the best product or technology (it does not , Jack has openly admitted ), but because it has the best culture and people . He spoke for over an hour without notes, and delighted ("You must have aesthetic extraordinary if you consider me beautiful" ) , cajoled (" We will invest 200 million [ yuan] in this new strategy " ) , threatened ("You are a revolutionary against if you do not want to start a revolution " ) and trumpeted ( "If not now , when? If not me, who ? " ) .
He moved the room laughing at the fear and back as a master conductor . In China, Jackis idolized as much as Steve Jobs was in the United States . Pithy quotes , witty , and bold Jack are widely disseminated , discussed and memorized. Book after book was published on his remarkable rags to riches story , starting as an English teacher . And it is probably the only businessman in China whose presence in a television program may raise the rating of the show.
Meanwhile, its employees, Alirens are famous for their hard work and loyalty. They did not leave the ship as others in the industry of the Internet . They revere their leader and often quotes his words of inspiration. And whatever the wild objectives Jack throws at them , they determine the means of satisfying them .
I joined Alibaba in part by curiosity. Most Chinese Internet companies copy the successful American models and what they see as the necessary culture freewheel egalitarian Internet . But Jack , on the other hand, has built a seemingly Chinese company ( ie patriarchal ) with a full internet potential. How did he do ?
Closely with Jack at the meeting manager , I realized that he did so because he is the rock star Jack Jack and the helmsman - his eloquence and absolute conviction galvanized everyone in the room to join him in redefining commerce of China. SEO in China is usefull say amour-chine
And for a brief moment, I understood why so many others before me had followed Mao Zedong, the Great Helmsman , in the communist revolution. Some people just want to follow, even if they are running their own melody.
Sometimes I wondered if Alibaba really like the idealized legend of the Red Army.
The building of the army loyal helmsman began with recruitment. At its inception , Alibaba preferred to hire fresh graduates of second rank. Unlike their counterparts in large schools, these humble children , eager to prove himself, did not have the haughty attitude or daring to assert their conventionally naive ideas. The company then drilled six values in these new recruits - " customer first ", " teamwork ", " embrace change ", " integrity ", " Passion " and "Commitment" Each group . business has been assigned a dedicated liaison officer RH , known as his " political commissar " (I kid you not ) , who oversaw the performance of employees. quarterly, performance evaluations were mandated , with 50 per cent the basis of membership of employees in the company's values . those with bad scores value, even the most successful , was fired.
Alibaba.comThose who survived these opinions were treated like family . Everyone gave a nickname , identity unique and exclusive Alibaba, after a character in the fantasy novels that Jack loved martial arts. Alirens were encouraged to treat each other as brothers and sisters, and Jack officiated periodically group marriages . Even those who left were invited to " come home " for special corporate events .
I enjoyed working on Alibaba because Alirens . What they lacked in experience they made in humility , enthusiasm and friendliness . And they worked hard for constant overtime was assumed , and nobody complained about missing a date night or not tucking their children into bed at night. Sometimes I wondered if Alibaba really like the idealized legend of the Red Army , where officers and soldiers formed a surrogate family and close and a new era in personal sacrificing everything for the collective.
But even in 2007, the band showed cracks. Later this year, a subsidiary of Alibaba Group, Alibaba.com , went public in Hong Kong , which has many long-term employees , it millionaires. Some of them have grown complacent or fatigue . After eight years in the trenches , they wanted to enjoy the fruit of their battles on their time with their own families.
In addition to experienced professionals came Alibaba. The company , after conquering business-to -business and business -to-consumer e -commerce and online payments , is expanding into software services and online advertising. He had to hire and integrate expertise from outside.
Starting of AlibabaI was one of those employees , having started the Yahoo China, Alibaba acquired in 2005 unit . Jack finds it difficult to turn us into a search engine leading and transforming the culture of Yahoo China Alibaba mold. A new president has been awarded and a new strategy was designed at the top, then solemnly announced at a meeting of all hands. The problem was that very few employees Yahoo China has bought into this strategy, despite a rallying speech to Jack who made everyone laugh .
While meetings at various levels were convened at Yahoo China to " solicit feedback . " The purpose of the meetings, it soon became clear , was to convince the opposition that they were wrong , they were on the wrong side of the next wave of the Internet revolution, and that they should " embrace change " as dictated by the Alibaba culture. reminded me of the rectification campaigns of Mao to eliminate those who refuse to comply with its vision of what China should be .
Gradually , opponents locked and reluctantly joined the revolution . A year later and after much fanfare repeated addition, the revolution has fizzled . Two laps later , Yahoo China was dead. ( He was arrested by Alibaba earlier this year . )
Experienced professionals , feeling alienated culturally and professionally sidelined , began to leave . Many of those who remained were invited to move to HQ and Alibaba have been indoctrinated with, for example , pilgrimages to the house where Alibaba began , like pilgrimages to the site founders of the Communist Party .
Ultimately , I went , too, for another opportunity that promised greater freedom and career growth. However, after seeing the dramatic failures of Yahoo, eBay and Google in China, I often wonder if the way Alibaba is the only way to win there . To date , culture , training and performance evaluation Alibaba remained the same as the group has grown to more than 20,000 employees worldwide .
Prove critics wrong , it became the largest company of China's Internet and is still rapidly growing in cloud computing , logistics and finance online. And Jack , having won its revolution with its motley army , is now the undisputed godfather of entrepreneurship Vintage China .
Americans , too, are familiar with the stories of visionaries , titans dotcom authoritarian as employment and Jeff Bezos . But these are more the exception than the norm. In China, while the charisma of Jack may be unique, its emphasis on culture and values as management tools is not . Small and large businesses in China have control over their employees , expecting absolute loyalty and obedience. Confucians advocated such an organizational model of society for thousands of years, Mao and successfully incorporated into the Communist regime. And it lasts : Today in Beijing , exercises military type of restaurant employees are a common sight on the streets.
Chinese Society is ChangingAs society and the economy of China are becoming increasingly complex, it is difficult to understand the country or sector booming business in the future with such a fanatical adherence to a control. Already , Alibaba is to find new crops of graduates hired - more individualistic and more vocal about their opinions - much more difficult to manage sayd a specialist about Digital in China. And the revolutionary youth aged and tired , looking forward to the wealth of the next IPO of all the Alibaba Group .
For me, this is the crack in the armor legendary Alibaba - culture can not remain static. Both Alibaba and China have benefited greatly from the hard work of the people and the vast market opportunities opened by the reform of Deng Xiaoping. But the current growth model of China is running out of steam . The government knows it needs more innovation of its people to ensure growth and stability, but it is not ready to let go of control. Neither , it seems, is Alibaba employees.
So high marks Western consumer can rest a little easier this time. As the next Jack Ma arrives to infuse a sense of individual creativity and freedom in China Inc., Chinese brands like Alibaba will probably find it difficult to take on the world