Yahoo Heading East?

Online powerhouse Yahoo is reportedly in advanced
talks to buy a big chunk of China’s largest e-commerce site for $1 billion.

Forbes.com is reporting that the search giant is set to snatch up 35
percent of Alibaba, making the deal the biggest investment ever in China’s
Internet industry.

The Hangzhou, China-based Alibaba, the so-called ‘Chinese eBay’ run by
English teacher-turned-entrepreneur Jack Ma, operates three popular online
marketplaces.

Those outlets are: Alibaba International, an English-language site focused on
international trade, with 1 million registered users from more than 200
countries and territories; Alibaba China, which facilitates domestic
business-to-business trading, and counts 3.8 million among its registered
users; and Taobao, a consumer-to-consumer (C2C) trading site with 2.2
million registered users.

Another report coming out of China from the International Herald Tribune
said people familiar with the negotiations believe Softbank is playing an
important part in coordinating Yahoo’s discussions with Alibaba.

In 2000 Alibaba received $20 million in funding from Softbank and a conglomerate of investors. Softbank also contributed additional capital and resources to develop versions of Alibaba in Japan, Korea and Europe.

Spokespersons for Alibaba.com and Yahoo were not immediately available
for comment.

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