The Success of Alibaba and Lessons for Broader U.S.–China Business RelationsVIEW EVENT DETAILS
Presented in partnership with Asia Society Northern California
Monday, November 7, 2022
7:30 p.m. CT / 5:30 p.m. PT Moderated Discussion
8:10 p.m. CT / 6:10 p.m. PT Audience Q&A – Questions welcome via YouTube Live
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Alibaba may have originated as a kind of Chinese eBay, offering a digital marketplace where consumers and merchants can connect, buy, and sell from each other; however, today, the reach of Alibaba and its interlinked network of products and services span not only e-commerce and retail, but also cloud computing, digital media and entertainment, and more. Some have described it as a combination of “the economic might of Amazon, the penetration of Facebook, the ubiquity of Google, and the cultural significance of YouTube.” Its impact on global markets is significant, disrupting conventional businesses and creating previously unimaginable opportunities for millions of small businesses worldwide.
Brian Wong, a long-time Alibaba executive and former special assistant to Jack Ma, joins Asia Society Texas and Northern California to discuss his new book, The Tao of Alibaba: Inside the Chinese Digital Giant That Is Changing the World. He shares how Alibaba has navigated tough times and discusses how the company’s management principles can provide a business and economic development model for U.S. and global corporations doing business with China.
About the Speaker
Brian A. Wong is a Chinese American entrepreneur and investor. He was the first American and only the 52nd employee to join Alibaba Group, where he contributed to the company’s early globalization efforts and served as Jack Ma’s special assistant for international affairs. During his 16-year tenure, Wong established the Alibaba Global Initiatives (AGI) division and was the founder and executive director of the Alibaba Global Leadership Academy. Wong remains an adviser to the AGI team and regularly teaches courses on China’s digital economy and the Tao of Alibaba management principles. Wong founded RADII, a digital media platform dedicated to bridging understanding between East and West.
Wong earned his bachelor’s degree from Swarthmore College, a master’s certificate from the Johns Hopkins University (SAIS)–Nanjing University Center for U.S.and China Studies, and an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. He was selected as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2015, is a China Fellow with the Aspen Institute and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network, and is a member of the Committee of 100. He is based in Shanghai, China.
About the Moderator
Moderator Frank Lavin is the CEO and founder of Export Now, a firm that helps brands around the world in e-commerce strategy and operations in China. Lavin served as undersecretary for international trade at the U.S.Department of Commerce in the George H. W. Bush administration. In that capacity, Lavin served as the lead trade negotiator for both China and India and was responsible for commercial policy, export promotion, and trade negotiations across the globe. Lavin was previously U.S. ambassador to Singapore, where he helped negotiate the U.S.-Singapore Free Trade Agreement.
In the private sector, Lavin served in senior finance and management positions in Hong Kong and Singapore with Edelman, Bank of America, and Citibank. Lavin also served in the George W. Bush and Reagan administrations, working in the Department of Commerce, Department of State, National Security Council, and White House.
Asia Society hosts today's leading voices, providing commentary on events in news, society, and culture. Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect Asia Society views. This is a joint program with Asia Society Texas and Asia Society Northern California.
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