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Singles Day has grown from a tongue-in-cheek holiday for unattached young people to the biggest shopping day in human history. Taobao has grown from a small online forum for buyers and sellers to the largest e-commerce platform in the world. To understand Alibaba’s phenomenal success, we need to analyze the forces behind its rise. By understanding Alibaba’s story, we come to appreciate the innovative power of Chinese business. By understanding Chinese innovation, we can grasp a full vision of the future of strategy.

These first three chapters define the two core pillars of smart business, network coordination and data intelligence, and explain ...

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