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What's Next! with Tiffani Bova

Dec 1, 2022

Welcome to the What's Next! podcast with Tiffani Bova. 

Scheduling between the time zones, I found the time to sit down with Brian A. Wong this week to share his experience working for Alibaba, the powerhouse Chinese e-commerce giant. His insight draws on both his American education and industry experience working for billionaire business investor Jack Ma as one of the early employees at Alibaba, which he documents the experience in his newest book “The Tao of Alibaba: Inside the Chinese Digital Giant that Is Changing the World” released in November 2022.   

Brian A. Wong is a Chinese American entrepreneur and investor. He was the first American and only the 52nd employee to join Alibaba Group, where he contributed to the company’s early globalization efforts and served as Jack Ma’s special assistant for international affairs. During his 16-year tenure, Wong established the Alibaba Global Initiatives (AGI) division and was the founder and executive director of the Alibaba Global Leadership Academy. Wong remains an adviser to the AGI team and regularly teaches courses on China’s digital economy and the Tao of Alibaba management principles. Wong founded RADII, a digital media platform dedicated to bridging understanding between East and West.

Wong earned his bachelor’s degree from Swarthmore College, a master’s certificate from the Johns Hopkins University (SAIS)–Nanjing University Center for US and China Studies, and an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. He was selected as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2015, is a China Fellow with the Aspen Institute and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network, and is a member of the Committee of 100. He is based in Shanghai, China.


THIS EPISODE IS PERFECT FOR…  people who are looking to redefine their leadership style and explore the pathway of balance and harmony in management principles, workplace habits, and business perspectives.


TODAY’S MAIN MESSAGE… There's a dual philosophy that guides the business operations of Alibaba – Eastern principles of Chinese Daoist philosophy combined with Western American management systems lay at the foundation of the success story. In Brian’s view, it’s about finding balance between the need to change while remaining firm and consistent in your brand identity. Finding the synergy between market, societal, and universal forces will ultimately guide your business on a path to victory.   


WHAT  I  LOVE  MOST… Brian went on a journey to find his own North Star, and while expanding his “comfort zone” after seeking advice from his mentor, he reaffirmed his life mission to enable marginalized groups and communities.



Running time: 32:52

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Brian's Book:

The Tao of Alibaba