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Where there is a will, there is a way.

 
 
 

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年过半百,经历坎坷.少年遇"文革",下乡八载,虽历经磨难,唯斗志不减,农耕间隙自学不辍,终守得云开日出,考进大学.大学毕业后先后经历了中学执教,国企管理,外企高管,最后回归重执教鞭.目前在家精心培养有志掌握英语的中小学生. 我最大的愿望就是看到孩子学有所成,桃李天下.

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我新发表的文章《阿里巴巴,一份中国梦》  

2014-05-19 09:54:13|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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        前言:1999年马云和10几个同道者凑了50万元,成立了阿里巴巴。相信大部分人最初对这样一个公司的反应是:真如阿里巴巴这个人物所出的书名那样:天方夜谭。有远见的马云在自己最艰难的草创阶段就雇佣了摄像师,记录了许多宝贵的原始镜头。青涩的马云在北京政府部门逐个办公室自我介绍,遭人冷眼的情景令人唏嘘。

        如今,阿里巴巴已经将“天方夜谭”变成了人间现实。如果说,这不是中国梦的一个片段,那么什么是?

Alibaba, a piece of Chinese Dream

 

Wu Guangqiang

 

TWO recent Chinese news items have captured worldwide attention. One is the new World Bank report suggesting that China could surpass the U.S. as the world’s biggest economy as early as this year, measured in PPP (purchasing-power parity). The other is that Alibaba, China’s e-commerce behemoth, filed a plan on April 6 to raise up to US$1 billion in an initial public offering (IPO) in the U.S. stock market. 

These two events have received entirely different responses from Chinese citizens. Both the public and experts are simply shrugging off the honor of possibly becoming the world’s largest economy, not because the Chinese value modesty, but because of growing public disillusionment with specious number games. However, much attention and many compliments have been directed at Alibaba’s IPO plan. 

By any standard, if successful, Alibaba’s U.S. listing will go down in history as a monumental event, as it will mark the initial success of China’s unique development path and the world’s recognition of China’s achievements. 

To illustrate just how impressive Alibaba’s IPO is, consider a few facts. 

Alibaba announced its plan to raise up to US$1 billion, but investors expect it to raise more than US$15 billion, potentially making it one of the largest deals of all time. It will likely surpass Facebook’s IPO, which raised US$16.4 billion in 2012, and could be nearly as big as the 2008 offering by credit card giant Visa, which raised about US$17.9 billion. 

Coveted by Alibaba’s meteoric growth and exceptional profitability, investors worldwide are poised to grab a piece of the pie, thus probably raising the company’s value to more than US$100 billion — some estimates putting it at US$168 billion — making it one of the world’s most valuable companies. 

Alibaba’s successful IPO will produce the largest number of big winners the world has ever seen. In addition to Alibaba founder Jack Ma’s ascent to one of China’s richest persons, a number of the world’s most visionary and fearless investors will reap a bumper harvest from their early “crazy” investments into the company, or in a sense, “gambling.” 

Masayoshi Son, SoftBank’s owner, is expected to be the biggest winner. His original investment of US$20 million when Alibaba was founded, accounting for 34.4 percent of Alibaba’s total share, will rocket to US$66.8 billion if Alibaba is valued at US$200 billion as is widely expected after the IPO. Yahoo will be another winner, which holds 22.6 percent of Alibaba. 

The whole success story sounds like a tale from “Arabian Nights,” from which the company’s name, Alibaba, came. Almost every Chinese person is familiar with Ali Baba, a character from the tale “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves.” Ali Baba, a poor woodcutter, discovered the secret to the den of thieves, entered with the phrase “open sesame” and gained access to endless treasures. 

When Jack Ma created Alibaba, with a collective fund of 500,000 yuan (US$80,000) from himself and a dozen other friends and investors, in his home in 1999, few took it seriously — most people saw it simply as a pipe dream. 

Skipping the details of Alibaba’s legend, there are two main points to be taken away from this story as they relate to China’s future development. 

First, Alibaba’s success is the result of China’s pragmatist approach after the reform and open-up policy began. China has embraced almost all of the achievements of human civilization, especially those from Western countries. Without courageously learning from and drawing upon advanced ideologies, technologies and practices, it would have been impossible for China to leapfrog from a nation several generations behind the U.S. and Europe in economy, science and technology, to one on almost equal terms in only 30 years. Alibaba is a top student in learning from, digesting and applying others’ valuable knowledge. 

On the other hand, if Alibaba had taken a dogmatist approach, only trying to mimic what had been done by Western gurus without combining learned knowledge with local conditions, there would be no Alibaba today. Alibaba’s success is the best proof that China is just as innovative as any other nation. 

Second, Alibaba’s story has shown the bright prospects that could await China’s young entrepreneurs if they pursue the Chinese Dream. As Jack Ma put it, “If Jack Ma can do it, so can you!” 

A more transparent, international and responsible Alibaba will present an exciting performance for the world and continue the Chinese “Arabian Nights.”

 

(The author is an English tutor and a freelance writer.)

 

 

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