Google is thinking of leaving China, but it might not be the first or only one planning on this. Different resources told us lately, they suspected another famous international brand, Yahoo! is going to stop Yahoo China’s locally operating too.

Five-Year Contract?

In August 2005, Yahoo! announced that it purchased a 40% stake in Alibaba Group for US$1bn plus Yahoo!’s Chinese assets. Alibaba Group then took charge of China Yahoo!, and Alibaba Group’s founder Jack Ma remained in charge of Alibaba Group. This is the official annoucement everyone knows, but there might be one detail missing in that statement, i.e. how long Alibaba Group can own Yahoo!’s Chinese assets? One resource told me (but he is not able to prove it)  that it’s 5 years. That means both parties have to make the decision soon if it worths continuing the contract and operate the Yahoo China which is struggling in Chinese portal market for a long while.

Yahoo! Is Unhappy!

The relationship between Yahoo! and Alibaba Group started to change after Jerry Yang’s stepping down.

Yahoo China is based in Beijing. But in June 2009, Yahoo! announced its new Research Center in Beijing. According to the official statement, “The base will develop products for Yahoo globally and be independent from Alibaba Group”.  Then Alibaba Group said: They had the agreement with Yahoo! that the new research center would not do anything conflicts with Yahoo China’s web business.

Another story is even interesting. In September, Yahoo sold $150 million worth of Alibaba.com share when Alibaba Group was celebrating its 10 year anniversary. Jack Ma was not happy.

Carol Bartz, the new CEO of Yahoo!, was “very unhappy” about Alibaba’s failure to run Yahoo China more successfully than Yahoo had.

No Place For Yahoo China in Alibaba’s Kingdom

If you read our earlier post about Jack Ma’s Alibaba kingdom, you might have found that Yahoo China is actually missing in the big map. Alibaba, Taobao, Alipay and so on, we heard news about Alibaba Group’s  every day, but it seems no one knows what Yahoo China is doing and wants to do. Nevertheless, Yahoo China had its 8th CEO and had a major revamp of the site for the 7th time last week (report in Chinese).

The Latest

Google said it would stop censoring in search result and threaten to stop its operation in China. Most of the international giants keep quiet on commenting on Google’s decision, but Yahoo! is one exception: Yahoo! has said it was “aligned” with Google’s position. Obviously, Yahoo! ‘forgot’ its Yahoo China is operated by the Chinese Alibaba Group which respond: Yahoo! is ‘reckless’ on Google stance.

So far, nobody can confirm that Yahoo! and Alibaba Group’s partnership on Yahoo China will discontinue soon this year. So what’s your view on this? Our readers, please leave your comments.

Gang Lu

Dr. Gang Lu - Founder of TechNode. He's a Blogger, a Geek, a PhD and a Speaker, with passion in Tech, Internet and R'N'R.

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14 Comments

  1. The only reason that Yahoo is still invested in Alibaba is because it wants to “ride the company as an investment”, according to Carol Bartz. Yet, each day it complies with Chinese censorship laws, despite the fact that it can no longer claim to be having a positive influence on China (Yahoo China is insignificant in the country).Yahoo should sell its stake in Alibaba and take the handcuffs off Alibaba's management. It could then clean itself of any ethical issues as well.

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