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Influence Empire


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About the Author

Lulu Chen has covered China and its technology landscape for more than a decade, for Bloomberg News and Bloomberg Businessweek. She's a multiple-time co-winner of The Society of Publishers in Asia Award.


'Influence Empire by Lulu Yilun Chen is so much more than the long-awaited story of Tencent and its vital everything app, WeChat, the messaging tool used by 1.3 billion people. It's also the sobering account of an entire generation of high-flying Chinese tech entrepreneurs, whose wings were clipped by the omnipotent hand of their own government.' -- Brad Stone, author of Amazon Unbound and The Everything Store
Lulu Yilun Chen has written a sharply informed, smart and compelling account of the rise of some of the most powerful companies in China, which also stand among the biggest and richest tech giants in the world. Foremost among them is the biggest behemoth of them all, Tencent, a Swiss Army Knife of a company that combines the services of a half dozen or more of the best-known internet giants in the West. The immense wealth and reach deep into every household in China of companies like these has recently placed them at the center of Beijing's regulatory and political attention. Despite their enormous size and power, few outside of China know of or understand these companies. Now, thanks to Influence Empire: The Story of Tencent and China's Tech Ambition, that will finally change. - - Howard French, former NY Times Shanghai bureau chief and author of Everything Under the Heavens: How the Past Helps Shape China's Push for Global Power
Lulu Yilun Chen's Influence Empire is the compelling story of one of the world's most important, but least understood companies. It is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand how the curious collision of business, technology and politics in today's China will reshape our world. - - Peter Martin, author of China's Civilian Army
In Influence Empire, the long-time tech reporter narrates the emergence of China's tech titans their often-haphazard rises to success, and the struggles between then for revenue and domination of the marketplace... The book asks whether without freedom of thought China's economic miracle can persist. -- The Post
'A fascinating study of the tech giant and its symbiotic relationship with the Chinese government ... With Influence Empire, Chen, a reporter for Bloomberg, seeks to tell the story of arguably China's greatest entrepreneurial success, expose the threads that link Xi Jinping's regime to your Snapchat account, and familiarise us with the company's reclusive, 50-year-old founder Ma Huateng, who goes by the incongruous English moniker "Pony"... The book's most interesting material explores the waxing and waning of the relationship between Tencent and the Chinese communist party, which is eager to, as Chen puts it, "keep the rising class of tech-savvy moguls in place before their economic aspirations turn political."' -- Guardian
A book that tells Tencent's story has been long overdue, and Lulu Chen's account is not only comprehensive, but also a gripping business narrative. The globally influential company finally has the account it deserves. -- David Barboza, The Wire

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