Alibaba, WeChat and Co: China's Unknown Economic Power {Review}

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Undoubtedly, China's economy, and with it China's economic bosses - especially Amazon competitor Alibaba, have become an important player in the global market. This book tries an arrangement.

By the way: You can find many more hand-picked reading recommendations in our section Editorial book tips.

Here writes for you:

Stephan Lamprecht Stephan Lamprecht

Stephan Lamprecht is a journalist and editor at


Arrogance and ignorance against China

The older ones will perhaps still remember the derisive comments of the German carmaker and many buyers, as in the mid-70er years, the first Japanese small cars appeared increasingly in the German market.

The same ominous mixture of arrogance and ignorance then led to derogatory comments in the 80 years when products from Korea were to be found in Germany.

From noname to world market leader

Today, Samsung is a world leader in its smartphones and TVs. According to Wolfgang Brain, we make the same mistake again:

We underestimate the economic power of China and certainly out of ignorance. His book "China's Bosses" wants to introduce the unknown competitors.

A journey into a still too little-known country

If you know your industry well, you will meet some acquaintances in the book.

For example, the messenger WeChat, which is often compared to WhatsApp in this country, but actually has a much greater importance in everyday life in China.

Alibaba, the silent Amazon competitor

Or Jack Ma, who enters with his Alibaba group Company how Amazon looks almost old in terms of growth and innovation in retail.

But who else knows Alibaba outside the trading industry?

China takes over the technological leadership

China is starting to take the technological lead in many areas and push ahead with issues that are being considered in Europe and the US.

So it's about time to get more involved with the structures and the people involved.

Mix of communism and capitalism

Since 30 years Wolfgang Hirn traveled the country. A long time, in which the country, which is still officially communist, has changed enormously.

And found the form of communism and capitalism that is difficult to understand for us Europeans.

By officials and managers

Could Steve Jobs have built a successful business in China as well? This hypothetical question is immediately raised by the author in his introduction.

And the quite surprising answer from one who needs to know is that he does not believe in it. Steve Jobs was a perfectionist.

Kompressse make as the main skill

And in China it is important to be able to make compromises. Well conceivable that US icon jobs would not have progressed here.

And the one who gave the answer is Lei Jun, founder of the Xiaomi company, which has become the third largest manufacturer of smartphones.

How is the market ticking in China?

The book also raises the following questions:

  • Which companies dominate the Chinese market?
  • Who leads them?
  • What is important to these managers?
  • What do the super and new rich in China spend their money on?

Focus on the protagonists of the Chinese economy

Skilled and exciting, Wolfgang Brain introduces us to the protagonists of the Chinese economy.

And also reveals to readers why in China is just emerging a new digital world power that wants to take the global leadership in many future industries such as robotics or e-mobility (or is already on the way there).

Conclusion: Business book for everyone

A clear reading recommendation for anyone who wants to learn about the Chinese economic power.

And since growth and ambitions are equally big in China, that should be everyone. Exciting and eloquent from the first to the last page.

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  1. Lena

    The power of Alibaba is totally underestimated. I can see that because I myself lived in China for several years. Very exciting country by the way.

    • Simone Janson

      Thank you for your comment!

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