王飞跃的个人博客分享 http://blog.sciencenet.cn/u/王飞跃

博文

[转载]纽约时报:马云一特点十分引人注目Unlikely Ascent of Jack Ma

已有 8206 次阅读 2014-5-9 20:42 |个人分类:感言社会|系统分类:海外观察|关键词:阿里巴巴,纽约时报,Alibaba,互联网| 互联网, 纽约时报, 阿里巴巴, Alibaba |文章来源:转载

马云一特点十分引人注目


Jack Ma has long served as a flamboyant motivator to his Alibaba staff and a relentless opponent to those who have competed against him. Credit马云由阿里巴巴集团创始人一跃成为互联网业界亿万富翁,他不按传统方式出牌的特点十分引人关注。  Alibaba, via Associated Press


  香港——马云第一次使用互联网是在1995年,当时他搜索了“啤酒”和“中国”两个词,但却没有搜到任何结果。出于好奇,他和一个朋友为一个汉语翻译公司创建了基本网页。几个小时之内,他就收到了来自世界各地的一些问询邮件.


这让马云第一次体验到了互联网的力量,促使他在4年后创建了阿里巴巴集团。


  现在,阿里巴巴是中国最大的在线零售商,其商品销量在全球仅次于沃尔玛(Walmart)。此外,这家大型电子商务公司正在推进发行股票的计划,其股票发行规模有望与Facebook两年前募得的160亿美元(约合997亿元人民币)相匹敌。如果顺利,这次交易将让阿里巴巴和拥有该公司8.9%股份的马云跻身技术行业巨头的顶峰位置。

  马云成为互联网巨富的过程值得一提,因为他因不按传统方式出牌。与Facebook的马克·扎克伯格(Mark Zuckerberg)、苹果公司的史蒂文·P·乔布斯(Steven P. Jobs)或者微软(Microsoft)的比尔·盖茨(Bill Gates)不同,今年49岁的马云并没有计算机方面的背景,并且声称自己不懂技术。他在文化大革命期间长大,第一份工作是英语老师。

  相反,他在阿里巴巴的角色一直都是公司的主要战略师,是一个热情鼓励员工的领导,也是竞争对手的无情打击者。阿里巴巴旗下的两个主要网站是淘宝和天猫,这两个网站发出的快件如今占到了中国邮递包裹总量的60%。

  博达克咨询有限公司(BDA China)董事长邓肯·克拉克(Duncan Clark)从20世纪90年代末开始就认识马云,他说,“他实实在在地代表着现在靠阿里巴巴过活的几百万人。这是一个选区。他是一个小的政治家。”位于北京的博达克咨询有限公司主要关注电子和消费领域的业务。

  他还证明了自己是一个连续颠覆者——一个擅长通过重新塑造零售、金融等传统行业来创造新市场的外来者。阿里巴巴和马云正在让中国一些最保守的国家主导行业发生变革,开始进军银行、金融和移动电话通信领域。他甚至已经开始进军百货公司和电影制作。

  “其实很多行业的创新都是外行进来才引发的,”去年6月,马云在共产党官方报纸《人民日报》的一篇评论文章中写道。对私营领域的企业家而言,此举非同寻常。

  当时他是在提醒中国的国有银行。那篇文章发表之际,阿里巴巴刚刚推出了高利息货币市场产品余额宝。该产品意在从顾客的在线支付账户吸引投资。截至2月,已有8100万人成为该产品用户,这款产品管理着价值400亿美元的资产。

  “金融行业也需要搅局者,更需要那些外行的人进来进行变革,”马云在那篇文章中写道。

  他给这种角色添加了独特的风格。

  2009年,阿里巴巴在一家体育场举行周年庆祝集会,他现身时头戴及腰的金色假发,身穿一件饰有红色火焰和金属钉的黑皮夹克,还戴着太阳镜,涂了口红。他举着麦克风,高唱着《今夜爱无限》(Can You Feel the Love Tonight),赢得了16000名员工的欢呼。

  从一开始,马云就表现出了想法与众不同的天赋。

  1995年,中国还没有几个家庭拥有自己的电脑,马云却决定辞去教职,开设一家网络公司。马云的公司开在他的家乡、距上海约100英里(约合160公里)的东部城市杭州,是中国正式注册最早的互联网公司之一。那是一家名为中国黄页的企业索引网站。为了了解马云对该网站的更多计划,当时经营着一家计算机动画公司的崔鲁海在中国黄页的办公室里见到了马云。

  “我依然记得我走进他办公室后看到的第一个场景,”目前在中国美术学院讲授新媒体课程的崔鲁海说,“那个地方挺空的,只有一张桌子放在屋子中央。房间里只有一台很旧的个人电脑台式机,旁边围着很多人。后来才知道,马云把很多钱花在了公司的注册上,似乎没钱购置硬件了。

  创业初期,马云苦苦争取政府的支持。

  在有关阿里巴巴和马云的纪录片《扬子江大鳄》(Crocodile in the Yangtze)中,说普通话的美国人波特·埃里斯曼(Porter Erisman)呈现了马云上世纪90年代中期在北京拜访官员的场面。埃里斯曼曾在2000年至2008年间供职于阿里巴巴。镜头中的马云穿着一件两边领口都有纽扣的蓝色牛仔衬衫,坐在一台四四方方的老旧笔记本电脑旁边,在一间烟雾缭绕的政府办公室里向一个穿西装打领带、戴眼镜的官员解释自己的业务。马云多次去北京拜访官员,这只是其中一次。

  “现在,外国人利用桌子上的电脑,已经能够知道在什么地方买什么东西,”马云向那名官员解释说。“他可以直接订货订给香港、台湾、新加坡,但他不会订到中国来,因为中国在网上没有东西,”他说,“我希望能够得到各部门的支持。”

  不过,马云的请求遭到了拒绝。不久之后的1997年,他离开中国黄页,去商务部的一个部门任职,帮助创建网站。1999年年初,他再次独立出来,创立了阿里巴巴。

  该公司的第一个网站Alibaba.com是一家连接中国出口商和海外买家的企业对企业网站。不同于当时的大多数中国网站,该网站不是对西方企业的克隆。

  1999年,阿里巴巴吸引到了台湾出生的蔡崇信(Joseph C. Tsai)。当过律师的蔡崇信曾在耶鲁接受教育,当时就职于香港的一家私募股权公司。马云和蔡崇信一起引进了高盛(Goldman Sachs)和软银(SoftBank)的投资。

  马云一早就练出了战略师的技巧。他在2003年创立了消费者对消费者的平台淘宝,该行业当时的主导者是eBay在中国的分支。为了争夺市场份额,马云决定让淘宝保持免费,尽管这样会损失一大笔收入。

  “面对eBay,他喜欢装出又蠢又笨的样子,”影片制作人埃里斯曼说。“站在华尔街投资者的角度,他想让阿里巴巴最终打败eBay——比精明对手更可怕的事物只有一件,那就是一个愿意在没有盈利希望的时候用光所有钱财的疯狂对手。”

  这种策略见到了成效。马云在2005年10月的新闻发布会上告诉记者,淘宝在中国网络购物市场中所占份额已达到将近70%。“我们很快就会成为唯一的一家。EBay的日子不多了,”他说。2006年,eBay宣布退出中国市场,并将其业务交给了一个由香港富豪李嘉诚控制的互联网公司。

  “我一直希望自己出生在战争时期。我可能会成为一名将军,”马云曾经这样回忆自己的青年时代。“以前我总是想,自己会在战争中取得怎样的成就。”

  马云也曾在会议室里与人争战。2011年,阿里巴巴于2005年与雅虎(Yahoo)结成的伙伴关系曾遭受短暂损害。当时,在没有得到阿里巴巴董事会正式同意的情况下,马云把阿里巴巴最赚钱的业务——网络支付业务支付宝——转到了自己控制的另一家公司名下,而软银和雅虎都是阿里巴巴董事会成员。2011年5月,马云此举的消息传出之后,阿里巴巴和雅虎的外部投资者纷纷表示愤怒。

  马云辩称,支付宝需要获得政府颁发的执照,因为中国政府不希望外国投资者控制中国的网络支付业务。“如果支付宝不合法,或者没能拿到牌照,淘宝就会瘫痪,”马云当时说。“如果淘宝瘫痪掉了,阿里巴巴如何改革和发展呢?”

  最终,阿里巴巴、雅虎和软银解决了这场矛盾,但并非所有股东都对结果感到满意。对冲基金经理戴维·艾因霍恩(David Einhorn)撤回了他在雅虎的投资,称这场争执“不是我们原本希望得到的东西”。

  马云很少对自己的激进策略表示懊悔。说到2011年的那件事情,他曾把自己的决定与邓小平在天安门事件中的决定相提并论。1989年6月4日,中国政府对天安门广场的抗议者进行了致命镇压,中国普遍将此事称为“六四事件”,邓小平当时是中国的最高领袖。

  “一家公司的CEO,无论是阿里巴巴事件也好,无论是支付宝的拆分也好,你在这个当口上,好像邓小平在‘六四’当中,”马云在香港《南华早报》7月的报道中称。“他作为国家最高的决策者,他要稳定,他必须要做这些残酷的决定。”

  鉴于阿里巴巴正在筹划上市,马云似乎很关注自己带给公司的影响。

  他仍然是阿里巴巴实际上的执行总裁,负责监管公司战略,不过,他已于2013年5月辞去首席执行官一职。辞职次日,他宣布自己已被任命为大自然保护协会(Nature Conservancy)中国董事会主席。他越来越关心中国严重的土壤污染和水污染。他的岳父不久前死于癌症,他认为污染是导致岳父死亡的部分原因。

  4月末,马云与阿里巴巴联合创始人蔡崇信宣布,他们将把阿里巴巴2%的股份——价值数十亿美元——捐给几个慈善信托基金,这些基金将为环境、医药和教育等方面的举措提供资金。规模如此之大的捐款在中国很少见,微软(Microsoft)的盖茨、沃伦·E·巴菲特(Warren E. Buffett)和纽约前市长迈克尔·布隆伯格(Michael Bloomberg)等著名慈善家都对此举表示赞赏。

  马云“并不是那种会在创业后把90%的股份留给自己、把所有财富囤积起来的人”,一名认识马云已超过10年的西方高管表示。这名高管不愿具名,因为他的公司不允许公开谈论业务联系。

  “在最初的日子里,在阿里巴巴网站的形成阶段,他给所有与他一起工作的高中生都分了股份,”这名高管说。“他没有抛下任何人。”

  作者NEIL GOUGH, ALEXANDRA STEVENSON 2014年05月08日。Shanshan Wang自北京对本文有研究贡献。Neil Gough自香港、Alexandra Stevenson自纽约对本文有报道贡献。  翻译:张亮亮、陈亦亭、陈柳


TECHNOLOGY

The Unlikely Ascent of Jack Ma, Alibaba’s Founder



Jack Ma has long served as a flamboyant motivator to his Alibaba staff and a relentless opponent to those who have competed against him. CreditAlibaba, via Associated Press


HONG KONG — The first time Jack Ma used the Internet, in 1995, he searched for “beer” and “China” but found no results. Intrigued, he created a basic web page for a Chinese translation service with a friend. Within hours, he received a handful of emails from around the world requesting information.

It was an introduction to the power of the web that would drive Mr. Ma to create the Alibaba Group four years later.

Today, Alibaba is China’s largest online retailer, with merchandise volumes that lag only Walmart, worldwide. The e-commerce giant is also moving forward with plans for a stock sale that is expected to rival Facebook’s $16 billion offering two years ago. If successful, the deal would help vault Alibaba and Mr. Ma, who owns 8.9 percent of the company, to the highest ranks of technology industry titans.

Continue reading the main storyRELATED COVERAGE



Mr. Ma’s ascent to dot-com billionaire is remarkable for not following the traditional script. Unlike Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Apple’s Steven P. Jobs or Microsoft’s Bill Gates, Mr. Ma, 49, has no background in computing and professes not to understand technology. Raised during China’s Cultural Revolution, Mr. Ma began his career as an English teacher.

Continue reading the main storyVideo

PLAY VIDEO|2:44What Is Alibaba?

What Is Alibaba?

Alibaba, China’s largest e-commerce company, is preparing to go public in New York. When it does, it could be one of the largest public offerings ever in the United States.

CreditLang Lang/Reuters



Instead, his role at Alibaba has always been as the company’s main strategist, a flamboyant motivator in chief to his staff and a relentless opponent to those who have competed against him. Alibaba’s two main websites, Taobao Marketplace and Tmall.com, now account for 60 percent of the packages shipped through the Chinese postal system.

“He effectively represents millions of people who now depend on Alibaba for their livelihood,” said Duncan Clark, who has known Mr. Ma since the late 1990s and is the chairman of BDA China, a consulting firm in Beijing that focuses on the digital and consumer sectors. “That’s a constituency. He’s a politician with a small ‘p.'  ”

He has also proved to be a serial disrupter — an outsider with a knack for creating new markets by reimagining old industries like retailing or finance. Alibaba and Mr. Ma are shaking up some of China’s most staid, state-dominated industries, starting ventures in banking and finance and mobile phone communications. He is even moving into the department store business and film production.

“Innovation in many industries has been triggered by outsiders,” Mr. Ma wrote last June in an opinion article in The People’s Daily, the official newspaper of the Communist Party — an unusual move for a private sector entrepreneur.

He was putting the country’s state banks on notice. Publication of the article coincided with the start of Yu’e Bao, a high-interest money market product that Alibaba initiated to attract investment from its customers’ online payment accounts. As of February, 81 million people had signed up for the product, which had $40 billion in assets under management.

Photo

At a 2009 stadium rally to celebrate the anniversary of Alibaba, Jack Ma ripped into a stilted rendition of “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?,” eliciting cheers from the crowd of 16,000 employees.CreditAgence France-Presse — Getty Images


“The finance industry needs a disrupter, it needs an outsider to come in and carry out a transformation,” Mr. Ma wrote in the article.

He brings his own flair to the role.

At a 2009 stadium rally to celebrate the anniversary of Alibaba, he emerged on stage wearing a waist-length blond wig, a black leather jacket with red flame and metal stud accents, sunglasses and lipstick. Raising a microphone, he ripped into a stilted rendition of “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?,” eliciting cheers from the crowd of 16,000 employees.

Since the beginning, Mr. Ma has shown a knack for thinking differently.

At a time when few Chinese households had their own computers, Mr. Ma in 1995 made the decision to leave teaching to set up an online business. In his hometown, Hangzhou, an eastern city about 100 miles from Shanghai, Mr. Ma established one of the country’s first officially registered Internet companies, a business index site called China Pages. Cui Luhai, who was then running a computer animation business, met with Mr. Ma at the China Pages office to learn more about his plans for the website.

Photo

Mr. Ma dressed as a pop star.CreditPeter Parks/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images



“I can still remember the first scene I saw when I walked into his office,” said Mr. Cui, today a lecturer in new media at the China Academy of Art. “It was a pretty empty space with only one desk set up in the middle of the room. There was only one very old PC desktop surrounded by a lot of people,” he said. Mr. Ma, it turned out, had spent much of his money on registering the business and appeared to have little money left for hardware.

Mr. Ma struggled in his early efforts to get government support for his new venture.

In a memoir-style documentary about Alibaba and Mr. Ma called “Crocodile in the Yangtze,” Porter Erisman, a Mandarin-speaking American who worked at Alibaba from 2000 to 2008, presents footage of one of many visits Mr. Ma paid to officials in Beijing in the mid-1990s. Mr. Ma appears in a button-down blue denim shirt, sitting over a boxy old laptop computer in a smoky government office and explaining his business to a bespectacled official in jacket and tie.

“Nowadays, foreigners can use computers from any desktop to find products from around the world,” Mr. Ma explains to the official. “They can order directly from Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, but they can’t order anything from China because right now there’s nothing from China on the Internet,” he says. “I hope the various departments will support us.”

But Mr. Ma’s pitches were rebuffed. He soon left China Pages in 1997 to work at a unit of China’s Commerce Ministry helping to create websites. In early 1999, he struck out on his own again, to start Alibaba.

Continue reading the main storyGRAPHICFrom Netscape to Alibaba

A look back at the Internet revolution’s notable I.P.O.s, and how valuations have fared over the years.











The company’s first site, Alibaba.com, was a business-to-business marketplace that connected Chinese exporters with overseas buyers. Unlike most Chinese websites of the day, it was not a clone of Western companies.

In 1999, the company lured Joseph C. Tsai, a Taiwan-born former lawyer who had been educated at Yale and was working in a private equity business in Hong Kong. Together, Mr. Ma and Mr. Tsai brought in Goldman Sachs and SoftBank as investors.

Early on, Mr. Ma honed his skills as a strategist. He began Taobao, the company’s consumer-to-consumer platform, in 2003, at a time when eBay’s Chinese unit dominated the business. Fighting for market share, Mr. Ma decided to keep Taobao free, although it was hemorrhaging money.

“With eBay, he liked looking foolish and stupid,” says Mr. Erisman, the filmmaker. “From a Wall Street investors’ perspective, he was willing to run Alibaba into the ground to defeat eBay — the only thing worse than a smart competitor is a crazy one who is willing to just spend all their money with no hope of making profit.”

It worked. At a news conference in October 2005, Mr. Ma told reporters that Taobao had gained nearly 70 percent of the market share for online shopping in China. “Pretty soon we’ll be the only one left. EBay’s days are numbered,” he said. In 2006, eBay announced it was effectively leaving the China market and folding its operations into an Internet company controlled by Li Ka-shing, the Hong Kong billionaire.


Photo

Mr. Ma has said that he expects 30 percent of China’s retail sales to be done online in five years.CreditVincent Yu/Associated Press


“I had always wished that I was born in a period of war. I could have been a general,” Mr. Ma once said of his youth. “I thought about what I could have achieved in war.”

Mr. Ma has had his share of boardroom battles. In 2011, an initial partnership with Yahoo formed in 2005 was briefly derailed. Mr. Ma transferred one of Alibaba’s most profitable businesses, the online payments unit Alipay, into a separate business under his control without formal approval from Alibaba’s board, where SoftBank and Yahoo had seats. When news of the transfer broke in May 2011, it brought an angry response from outside investors in Alibaba and Yahoo.

Mr. Ma argued that it was necessary to get a government license for Alipay, because Beijing did not want foreign investors controlling online payment businesses in China. “If Alipay were illegal or didn’t get the license, Taobao would be paralyzed,” Mr. Ma said at the time. “If Taobao were paralyzed, how could Alibaba reform and develop?”

Alibaba, Yahoo and SoftBank settled their differences over the issue, but not all shareholders were pleased. The hedge fund manager David Einhorn pulled his investment in Yahoo, saying the spat “wasn’t what we signed up for.”

Mr. Ma displays few regrets for his aggressive approach. In regard to the 2011 episode, he compared his decisions with those made by Deng Xiaoping, China’s paramount leader during the government’s deadly crackdown on Tiananmen Square protesters on June 4, 1989, which is widely referred to in China as the “6/4 incident.”

Photo

Alibaba’s headquarters in Hangzhou, China, hometown of its chairman.CreditQilai Shen for The New York Times


“As a company C.E.O., no matter if it’s the Alibaba incident, no matter if it’s splitting off Alipay, at that point, it’s just like Deng Xiaoping during 6/4,” Mr. Ma was quoted as saying in Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post in July. “As the country’s highest decision maker, he demanded stability. He needed to make this kind of cruel decision.”

As the company moves toward an initial public offering, Mr. Ma seems focused on his legacy.

He remains a hands-on executive chairman and oversees strategy at Alibaba, but in May 2013 he stepped down from his role as chief executive. The next day, he announced that he had been appointed the chairman of the Nature Conservancy’s board of directors for China. He has grown increasingly concerned over rampant pollution of the soil and water in China, something he has partly blamed for his father-in-law’s recent death from cancer.

In late April, Mr. Ma and Mr. Tsai, a co-founder, announced that they would donate shares representing 2 percent of Alibaba’s stock — a grant worth several billion dollars — to charitable trusts that would finance initiatives in the environment, medicine and education. Such a large donation is seldom seen in China, and the move was cheered by other prominent philanthropists, including Mr. Gates of Microsoft, Warren E. Buffett and Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York.

Mr. Ma “wasn’t the type of person who starts a business keeping 90 percent of the equity for himself and really hoarding all of the wealth and riches,” said one Western executive who has known him for over a decade, declining to be named because of his company’s policy against speaking publicly about business contacts.

“In the earliest days, when Alibaba.com was first forming, he was giving equity to all of the high school students who were working with him,” said the executive. “He was bringing everyone along.”




http://blog.sciencenet.cn/blog-2374-792878.html

上一篇:[转载]纽约时报:普京成功给德国人洗了脑Why Germans Love Russia
下一篇:[转载]China’s Monroe Doctrine+Israel's Sustainable Success

2 周雄伟 刘艳芳

该博文允许注册用户评论 请点击登录 评论 (2 个评论)

数据加载中...
扫一扫,分享此博文

Archiver|手机版|科学网 ( 京ICP备14006957 )

GMT+8, 2018-7-21 00:07

Powered by ScienceNet.cn

Copyright © 2007-2017 中国科学报社

返回顶部