How Jack Ma Built the Alibaba Empire

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June 9 (Bloomberg) -- Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is set to IPO in the U-S later this year, and expected to raise more than $15 billion. The man behind the e-commerce juggernaut: Jack Ma. He founded Alibaba in 1999. His colleague Porter Erisman was Vice president at Alibaba-dot-com for 8 years. He recorded his journey with Jack in his new documentary " Crocodile In the Yangtze." (Source: Bloomberg)

This in a new movie called "crocodile in the yangtze"." i wanted to be a part of what would be the next big thing, which is china and its growth.

I happen to be there in 1999 as the internet darted to catch on.

My friend introduced me to this english teacher who had just moved his company out of an apartment, and that was jack ma.

He had a dream i thought i wanted to join up on, so i joined in 2000. at this point, there is no angling that ali baba is going to be a $15 billion company?

I joined it to be a part of the dream, but he was an english teacher and his cofounders working with teachers and students.

It was hard to imagine that the company would become this big.

They allways had the dream of being one of the top 10 websites in the world.

It was fun to be a part of, but i do not think i could have imagined it would become this big.

Let's talk about "crocodile in the yangtze"." why the title?

He had this quote about ebay being the shark in the ocean and alibaba being the crocodile in the tyangtze.

Metaphor for saying as a local player in china they had an advantage over this foreign player coming into the chinese market.

What do you want people to take away from watching the whole thing?

I was up editing it to share the successes as well as the mistakes that happened along the way.

I have been showing it around the world for two years at different film festivals and what i want is for people to come away thinking that if they are setting out on their own dreanm of building from scratch, they can relate to the ups and downs.

Are there specific ups and downs that would only be relevant if they trying to start a business in china?

Not so much.

I talk about how the internet rot china face to face with the west.

There were certain issues that came about when alibaba did its partnership with yahoo!. you had some political differences between the u.s. and china that created a difficult situation.

But what i found is the story is universal.

I've shown in silicon valley, in nigeria, and colombia, and entrepreneurs around the world can all really relate to it.

What kind of a person is jack ma?

What would we learn if we sat down with him and spent some time?

He is not well known in the u.s., but if you go into the store in china there is a whole set of books indicated to his leadership philosophies.

People compare him to steve jobs, and i think that is a fair comparison in the chinese context.

He is a very innovative person, he is a very idealistic person.

It's very like mark zuckerberg, try to build something for the long-term and not a short term gain.

As far as putting the documentary together, was there any challenge to try to retell the story?

You do not know whether it will be a success when you're doing the work at the very beginning.


I made the film after i left the company.

I spent a few years gathering foodtage, because we had thrown open our doors to the foreign media and different filmmakers and they each capture different cross-sections of the history.

I went out and copyrights to the various footage, and put it together to tell a story.

I never would have known in the beginning that it would turn out to that, and luckily there was enough out there that i was able to the bubble story together.

-- able to put the whole story together.

What about his ability to get hundreds of thousands of people excited?

Is the pied piper entrepreneurship in china.

He because he was an english teacher he had a lot of experience giving talks and speaking in front of groups.

Not only did he build the platform that they have, but he helped to encourage new entrepreneurs through his own example to get on the platform.

Ali baba is really more than a company, it is a community of hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs at this point.

Can people get a copy of your movie?

Video-on-demand -- vimeo on demand made a deal with me, and you can get it through them.

Thank you very much.

Portman erisman, the filmmaker

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.


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