The Wall Street Journal reported that Yahoo Inc. is planning to sell of large chunks of its Asian assets, in an effort to give its investors some cash and begin to refocus on their core advertising business.

One of the major assets is Chinese e-commerce giant, Alibaba Group, which Yahoo owns a 40% stake of. The other notable Asian asset is Yahoo Japan, of which they own 35%. The total value of these assets is around USD$17-18 billion. The news sparked a share price rise of 6% or 88 cents to USD$15.99.

Rumours have circulated that Alibaba itself would buy back its shares from Yahoo. However, Alibaba CEO Jack Ma has apparently become more open to the possibility of Yahoo retaining a smaller percentage of Alibaba.

Although Yahoo is still popular and generates over USD$4 billion in net revenue from online ads and other fees, it has lagged behind faster growing rivals, Google and Facebook.

WSJ reported, “The plan for the Asian assets would involve Alibaba creating a subsidiary into which it would put several billion dollars of cash, plus an operating asset that Yahoo wants to buy using additional cash from Alibaba, almost like giving Yahoo a prepaid card for an asset of its choice, the people said.”