The ‘Tao’ of China’s Digital Economic Transformation and Lessons for Southeast Asia


About the Webinar

China’s last two decades represent not only one of the world’s most remarkable poverty reduction stories but also an unprecedented digital economic transformation. In 1999, China only had 8.8 million internet users with a per capita income of (current) US$873; today, China has more than one billion internet users with a per capita income of more than (current) US$10,000.

China leapfrogged in at least two major areas in the digital economy. First, China adopted e-commerce for society as a whole. China’s e-commerce transactions constitute about 52 percent of global e-commerce. China is also the first country in the world that has e-commerce transactions surpassing traditional retail transactions and volumes. Second, China’s fintech solutions are tailored toward financial inclusion. About 90 percent and 82 percent of the population in the urban and rural areas population use digital payment, respectively.

In this webinar, Brian A. Wong, a long-time Alibaba executive and former special assistant to Jack Ma, will draw on his knowledge and first-hand professional experience in the digital economy sector to provide insights on how the Southeast Asian countries could accelerate the digital transformation of their economies. The topics covered include strategies to tap global investment in the digital sector, pre-conditions and necessary adjustments for countries to emulate the success of China’s digital transformation, inclusive development, global digital governance, and how the region could better prepare for the next iteration of digital economy.

About the Speaker

Brian A. Wong is an entrepreneur, investor and author, with over 20 years of management experience in e-commerce and digital media. In his previous role as Alibaba Group Vice President, Wong led the creation and management of a series of international programs for the Alibaba Business School focused on governments and entrepreneurs to demonstrate how e-commerce can promote inclusive development in emerging markets. During his sixteen-year tenure with the firm, Wong served as the Special Assistant to the Chairman for international affairs, Vice President of Global Initiatives, the Executive Director of the Alibaba Global Leadership Academy (AGLA), and led Alibaba’s global sales, and international marketing, and business development operations. He originally joined the company as its first American hired and 52nd employee.

Wong has been an advisor to various governments on e-commerce strategies and has been featured as a speaker at international conferences such as the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting at Davos, the B20 Summit, and UNCTAD’s E-commerce Week. He 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. Wong was selected as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2015, is a China Fellow with the Aspen Institute, and is a member of the Committee of 100.

Wong is currently the Managing Director of Seacliff Partners Limited and Founder and Chairman of RADII Media ( He is based in Shanghai, China.


This webinar will be delivered online entirely. You can join the webinar at the specified date and time using devices (computer, phone, or tablet) with internet connection.

Please register here to receive your unique link for joining the webinar.


Jan 19 2023


2:00 pm - 3:00 pm