Brian A. Wong, "The Tao of Alibaba: Inside the Chinese Digital Giant That Is Changing the World" (PublicAffairs, 2022)


This podcast features Brian A. Wong, discussing his new book, The Tao of Alibaba: Inside the Chinese Digital Giant That is Changing the World (Public Affairs, 2022). Brian joined Alibaba early, as its 52nd employee and first American employee, and worked for them for nearly twenty years. His book provides both insider insights and an analytical perspective on how Alibaba grew to become one of the most important companies in the global digital economy. This well-written and engaging book explains Alibaba’s unique organizational culture and how the Alibaba platform has helped spread economic opportunity beyond the elites in China’s big cities to the broader world of small and medium businesses throughout the country.

Brian Wong’s Radii China is an independent media platform founded in 2017 dedicated to bridging the East and West by highlighting topics and issues that connect the world’s young, globally-minded citizens. Listeners interested in the development of the US-China relationship are encouraged to participate in the NCUSCR’s CHINA Town Hall, on November 17th, featuring a national webcast by former Ambassador Jon Huntsman Jr. Local partner events around the US, including one at the University of San Francisco, provide opportunities to discuss the topic further in person with other community members and local experts on China. In the interview, we also discuss Benjamin Ho’s book Why Trust Matters, featured on this show last year.

Peter Lorentzen is the Chair of the Economics Department at the University of San Francisco, where he leads a new Master's program in Applied Economics focused on the digital economy. His research focus is the political economy of governance in China and he is a member of the National Committee on US-China Relations (NCUSCR) and USF’s new Center on Business Studies and Innovation in the Asia-Pacific.

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Peter Lorentzen

Peter Lorentzen is economics professor at the University of San Francisco. He heads USF's Applied Economics Master's program, which focuses on the digital economy. His research is mainly on China's political economy.

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