​Alibaba Book Cover


The House That Jack Ma Built
Book by: Dunkan Clark
Publishing Year: 2016
Reading time: Key takeways: Quotes:

What’s inside

​Dunkan Clark writes about the less known life of Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba. In this book, we go into depths of his business ideas, his past, and his ideologies. We understand how Alibaba has grown into an eCommerce giant in China, and is steadily expanding in the global market.

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Lesson 1. Introduction.

China is not immune to the increasing popularity of the internet amongst the general public. The communist culture of China is moving ever so slightly towards western consumerism. The eCommerce company, Alibaba, has a lion’s contribution to this change.

Jack Ma, previously a teacher, and now a multi-billionaire philanthropist, has achieved success worth studying. He has changed how China treats eCommerce companies. Alibaba is China’s number one retailer, and has a huge share in the country’s GDP.

Like all the start-ups, Alibaba too, had to face its fair share of difficulties. We’ll go through Jack Ma’s story in this book, and learn as much as we can, along the way.

Lesson 2. Rise of Consumerism.

Traditionally, the Chinese market wasn’t very similar to the western markets. China, being a communist country, had a very small percentage of spending from households. People didn’t buy many things in general. The markets were targeted more towards enterprises and government entities.

This image has changed drastically in the last ten years. A healthy share of credit goes to Jack Ma. His company, Alibaba, and its subsidiaries are transforming how the local markets work, while simultaneously influencing the global markets.

Common people are spending drastically more than what they previously did, due to the ease of online shopping. This, however, has not damaged the local retailers. In fact, it has proven to be greatly helpful to them in the long run. They have more exposure than ever before. They can sell products throughout the world using Alibaba’s infrastructure.


An example of this would be 11th November, the Singles’ Day. In 2009, China had only about 27 of its major shops offering Singles’ Day sales. This number was bumped up to more than 40,000 just 6 years later! Alibaba witnessed $1 billion worth of sales in only the first 10 minutes of the sale!


Alibaba has a much greater impact on China than Amazon on the USA. The company had the greatest ever IPO in 2014. Much like its western counterpart, Alibaba is now known as the “Everything Store”.

Lesson 3. USPs.


Alibaba sets itself apart from a lot of online shopping sites by offering free services and an outstanding customer support network. The support network is called “Xiaoers”, which means “servants”. Xiaoers are the medium between the retailers and the customers. They oversee the retailer network and make sure the quality standard has been maintained in the services offered.


The thing about Alibaba that appeals most to China’s retailers, is the free

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About the author

Dunkan Clark Image

Duncan Clark, an acclaimed China tech expert and author of “Alibaba: The House That Jack Ma Built,” brings rich insights into the world of e-commerce and entrepreneurship. His expertise in China’s tech evolution and narrative skill weaves ...

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​Alibaba Book Cover
Chapter List
  • Lesson 1. Introduction.
  • Lesson 2. Rise of Consumerism.
  • Lesson 3. USPs.
  • Lesson 4. Customers First, Employees Second, and Shareholders Third.
  • Lesson 5. A Visionary.
  • Lesson 6. Rise of Alibaba.
  • Lesson 7. A Friend named G.S.
  • Lesson 8. Holding On.
  • Lesson 9. eBay.
  • Lesson 10. Conclusion.
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In the summary of ​Alibaba book, there are 10 key lessons. These lessons include:

  1. Lesson 1. Introduction.
  2. Lesson 2. Rise of Consumerism.
  3. Lesson 3. USPs.
  4. Lesson 4. Customers First, Employees Second, and Shareholders Third.
  5. Lesson 5. A Visionary.
  6. Lesson 6. Rise of Alibaba.
  7. Lesson 7. A Friend named G.S.
  8. Lesson 8. Holding On.
  9. Lesson 9. eBay.
  10. Lesson 10. Conclusion.

​Alibaba by Dunkan Clark was published in 2016.

Once you've completed ​Alibaba book, We suggest reading out The Hidden Life of Trees as a great follow-up read.

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