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The Economist: The world’s greatest bazaar


In 1999 Trudy Dai used to spend all night sending e-mails from her friend Jack Ma’s apartment, trying to answer queries from American customers without letting on that she was Chinese…The changing nature of China’s growth offers new possibilities to the company. Professor Peter Williamson of Cambridge University’s Judge Business School argues that a big reason Alibaba’s original business-to-business platform thrived is that by helping buyers and sellers overcome a lack of information and high search costs it was perfectly placed to help and profit from the first wave of China’s integration into the global economy. Now Alibaba is well positioned for the next wave…

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