The Tao of Alibaba with Brian Wong

UPDATED: May 9, 2024
PUBLISHED: January 27, 2023
The Tao of Alibaba with Brian Wong

When China went through its internet revolution, there was very little in the way of retail and finance infrastructure, so the internet filled in the gaps, says Brian Wong, former VP of Alibaba Group. In 2021, Insider Intelligence predicted that 52% of China’s retail sales would be done through e-commerce

On this week’s episode of Brilliant Thoughts with Tristan Ahumada, Wong details his time working at Alibaba, from when it was a start-up in the fastest-growing economy and industry to its current position as the largest e-commerce company in the world. While other companies thought of small businesses as not worthy of their time, Alibaba’s mission was to make it easy to do business anywhere. The main purpose was to serve those who are marginalized, disenfranchised or in the furthest reaches of society. This allowed for job creation in rural communities, where farmers in small villages were able to sell products online and create manufacturing clusters. 

“Now people are returning to villages to work because they not only have jobs created through e-commerce, but they have a quality of life because they have a natural surrounding,” Wong explains. 

He talks about the influences of eastern philosophy on doing business in China, universal management principles and the role the government plays in funding an infrastructure where these digital businesses can thrive. He also discusses super apps, and how to lead effectively and embrace change.

Brian Wong is the author of The Tao Of Alibaba: Inside the Chinese Digital Giant That Is Changing the World. Learn more about him at and follow him on LinkedIn at 

Brilliant Thoughts with Tristan Ahumada is no longer releasing new episodes on the SUCCESS Podcast Network, but you can still listen to the full conversation below.

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Tristan Ahumada is the People Editor for SUCCESS, operates Lab Coat Agents as its CEO, consults Fortune 500 companies, runs a successful Real Estate team in California, expansion teams in the U.S. (in different brokerages), owner in one Brokerage, currently sits on different boards for tech companies, and is also an international speaker. His love for technology and systems pushes him to test and use the latest products for growth for all businesses around the world including Real Estate Agents/Brokers. Tristan is from Southern California where he currently lives with his wife and two kids.