It’s no coincidence that China’s most famous (if not the largest or most profitable, which remain in petrochemicals and banking) companies are the BAT trio of internet companies. Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent have brought a nation of 1.3 billion together as never before. And what did the people, it turned out, want to do when thus conjoined? They wanted to sell each other stuff. This new book by Marco Gervasi is a welcome tour around this incredible mushrooming of market forces made possible by the internet. With the author having been founder of The Red Synergy, a management consultancy focusing on e-commerce and the Internet of Things (IoT), he clearly knows of what he speaks. Gervasi has also corralled an impressive guest list of interviewees, including Porter Erisman of Alibaba, Kaiser Kuo of Baidu, Junling Liu of Yihaodian, and JP Gan of Qiming Venture Partners, who provide substance to the figures and stories.

East Commerce is a good, thorough overview of China’s burgeoning e-commerce sector, covering JD.com, Xiaomi, Alibaba, Didi-Kuaidi, Tencent, Baidu, Yihaodian and more. It is not, perhaps, the most penetrating of books: if you are a regular reader of blogs Tech In Asia or Technode, the content may be familiar (and the text is also under-edited). But if you are a relative newcomer to this area and hunger to know more, then East Commerce, with its keen focus on the digital disruptors of traditional Chinese business models, is for you.

Published in Business Tianjin

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