The USC U.S.-China Institute, the Asia/Pacific Business Outlook Conference, and the Asia Society present a screening of "Crocodile in the Yangtze," followed by a brief discussion with director Porter Erisman.
Davidson Conference Center, Boardroom
University of Southern California
Los Angeles, CA 90089
Free, please click here to RSVP.
Crocodile in the Yangtze follows China's first Internet entrepreneur and former English teacher, Jack Ma, as he battles US giant eBay on the way to building China's first global Internet company, Alibaba Group. An independent memoir written, directed and produced by an American who worked in Ma's comany for eight years, Crocodile in the Yangtze captures the emotional ups and downs of life in a Chinese Internet startup at a time when the Internet brought China face-to-face with the West.
Crocodile in the Yangtze draws on 200 hours of archival footage filmed by over 35 sources between 1995 and 2009. The film presents a strikingly candid portrait of Ma and his company, told from the point of view of an "American fly on a Chinese wall" who witnessed the successes and the mistakes Alibaba encountered as it grew from a small apartment into a global company employing more than 16,000 staff.
About Porter Erisman
Porter first landed in China in 1994 and, after a year of Chinese language study, fell into a six-month stint as host of China Through Foreigners' Eyes, a travel program on China Central Television.
After studying for an MBA in the United States from 1996-1998, Porter returned to China and worked at Ogilvy & Mather in Beijing, overseeing an Internet marketing group as China's Internet began to take off. Lured by the excitement of joining an Internet startup, Porter joined Alibaba.com in April 2000, just as the company moved out of a small apartment.
From 2000-2008, Porter worked as a Vice-President at Alibaba.com and Alibaba Group, at various times leading the company's international website operations, international marketing and corporate affairs. In 2002, Porter took a year off from Alibaba to travel around-the-world, during which time he spent two months riding a bicycle across China retracing the southern route of the Long March.
Porter's career began in Washington, DC in 1992-1994 where he taught leadership workshops for high school students at the Close Up Foundation, a non-profit educational organization dedicated to hands-on education about the US democratic system.
Porter received a B.A. in Political Science from Stanford University and an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management. Additional studies include courses at the Beijing Language University, the New York Film Academy and the Culinary Institute of America. Crocodile in the Yangtze is Porter's first film.
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