Photo by Peter Cox
Jack Ma is the founder of Alibaba as well as one of the richest men in China (with personal wealth of more than $36 billion). He is also one of the strongest voices for global change, social progress, technological innovation, and cross-cultural interdependence—values that not only manifest in entrepreneurial speeches and future-oriented business strategies but are also commodified in contemporary social consumer practice. This phenomenon reaches its peak on “Singles Day”, a Chinese holiday on 11/11 that was co-opted by Alibaba to become the biggest shopping day on earth. The astonishing amount of money spent on Singles Day highlights the cultural impact that the booming e-commerce industry has had on China’s middle class.
Double 11 uses found footage, news clips, and interviews to assemble a portrait of Jack Ma and Singles Day with multiple conflicting narratives. On one hand, it reveals Ma’s visionary quality and rhetorical power in surmounting cultural and political obstacles associated with global business, particularly a lack of trust or comprehension between Western and Chinese companies. In his modest and candid tone, Ma succeeds in depicting the looming paradigm shift in geopolitics as an era of connectivity and cooperation between people all over the world, including full emancipation of women, through the continuous growth of consumerism and the facilitation of increased entrepreneurialism at every scale from the individual to the multinational conglomerate. But the clips of compulsive shopping, celebrity spectacles, and materialist discontent hint at the socioeconomic conditions necessary to fuel Ma’s borderless utopia.
Co-editor: Aryan Javaherian
Sound Designer: Yuval Reuven
Read an interview with Alice Wong on The Strategy of Jack Ma Link
Alice Wong is a story designer based in Eindhoven. Through her research, she translates complex information into shareable stories. Her principal topic of interest is the intersection of biographical documentary, media and social phenomena. She aims to narrate a thoroughly researched story which is multi-perspective and increase the awareness of truths, in order to enable her audience to comprehend academic research easily and be critical of what they are perceiving.