Brussels event: The secret of Alibaba’s success


  • By Abdul Latif Bhat

“The secret of Alibaba’s success” was organised at European Press Club in Brussels on 2oth Oct last week. ChinaEU and the China Internet Development Foundation (CIDF), in association with Friends of Europe organised this event.

After the introductory remarks by ChinaEU director Claudia Vernotti the main guest of the event was Duncan Clark, a cofounder and early stage investor of a number of technology ventures including AppAnnie, and Radish Fiction.

As an early advisor to Alibaba Duncan Clark gave a presentation about his book “Alibaba: The House That Jack Ma Built” which revolves around the life of the founder of Alibaba Jack Ma who hails from Zhejiang province now considered as the mecca of global entrepreneurship.  Duncan gives all credit to Jack Ma for exploring the economy of China from his home town province Zhejiang which has been honoured to host G-20 summit in September 2016 at the provincial capital city of Hangzhou.

Mr Duncan  while taking out a toothbrush from his pocket elaborated that 99% percent of toothbrushes supplied to the whole world are manufactured from Zhejiang. He also said that the demand to manufacture the products is so heavy on factories that right hand and left hand socks are being manufactured in two different cities in the same province.

Around 300 hundred books have been published in China about the Alibaba founder Jack Ma. He said that his book as a foreigner and being an insider of Alibaba has given it a boost and is now ranked as No. 2 in China on the subject.

He said Jack Ma started his career as a guide to foreigners with free of cost services and in initial stage his purpose was to practice English. It was his love for his country that he was also eager to tell the world about China and Chinese manufacturing companies making products. He launched his career as an English teacher later his focus changed to be a trader.

He said that key success of Jack Ma to build a huge house for global market revolves around his commitment that he showed by interacting with people , developed trust and  started networking to explore his idea that finally connected E-commerce, finance and logistics which finally proved as the three main foundations of Alibaba.

“Alibaba has so for 10 million merchants registered, 1.7 billion products listed and 435 million consumers buying products monthly.”  Mr. Eric C. Pelletier Vice President and head of International Government relations at Alibaba Group while introducing Alibaba after replying to my question about the quality control of products being traded (through #Alibaba).

The event was moderated by Shada Islam, Director of Policy at Friends of Europe joined by the two other panelists that include Chen Laiji Professor of Cheung Kong School of Journalism and Communication, Shantou University and Jasmin Battista, the European Commission Directorate General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology.
This report is sponsored by

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