Yahoo Buying 10% of Alibaba IPO, Expanding its Role in China

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Yahoo has announced that it plans to acquire 10% of the shares which are being offered by in an IPO which is expected to raise $1 Billion. Yahoo already owns 40% of Alibaba, and Alibaba owns 100% of Yahoo China… which can get complicated.

To make everything a bit more complicated, the company which owns most of and Yahoo China, is Yahoo Japan.

Yahoo Japan’s parent company, Softbank, which owns Yahoo Japan, Overture Japan and Vodafone Japan, also used to control most of Yahoo Europe and Yahoo Korea, before the company bought those properties from Softbank.

The Yahoo company has been slowly buying control, or partial investments, in its International properties over the past couple of years to unify product launches such as Yahoo Answers, Yahoo Search and Yahoo Search Marketing.

Unlike Google, Yahoo’s International properties are owned and managed by local companies and investors in each country or region, which is one reason Yahoo has dominated in Asia. Yahoo’s local properties can launch new products or make structural changes which benefit and fill needs in each culture.

Google on the other hand, makes most of its decisions on a global scale while building its global brand, then partners with localized companies like Friendster (Philippenes and Indonesia) or Biglobe & KDDI (Japan) to enter foreign markets via AdWords partnerships.

Loren Baker
Loren Baker is the Founder of SEJ, an Advisor at Alpha Brand Media and runs Foundation Digital, a digital marketing strategy & development agency.
Loren Baker
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  • John

    Your information about Yahoo in Europe and Korea appears to be out of date by 2 years.

  • Loren Baker, Editor

    Thanks for clearing that up 🙂

  • Pablo Palatnik

    when Alibaba does go public…it will be a good stock to get into a get out within a fair amount of time. I have used that site for years and have seen nothing but growth…worldwide, not just asia.

  • Wolfgang Leander

    Dear Loren:, China’s biggest e-commerce firm is also the world’s largest online shark fin trader. Yahoo! has a US-$ 1 billion stake in Alibaba, representing a 40% shareholding. As reported, soon they will increase their investment in Alibaba by another 10%.

    Activist groups, individuals, media organizations have approached both and Yahoo! with a view to induce them to drop the shark fin trade. The reaction from them was utterly disappointing. While the executives stated that they do not wish to “take sides” in the ongoing “controversy”, Yahoo! innocently claimed that they are not in a position to interfere with the business policies of corporations in which they don’t have a majority shareholding.

    The fact of the matter is that both firms do not want to end the highly lucrative trade of shark fins. They blatantly ignore the well-founded conclusion of internationally renowned marine experts that the indiscriminate mass killing of sharks solely for their fins is driving many species toward extinction with catastrophic consequences for the biodiversity of the oceans.

    By offering international shark fin dealers a convenient platform to do business / Yahoo! are fueling the often illegal finning of sharks and, thus, actively and recklessly contribute to an environmental disaster they are very well aware of.

    Here is an article that was published by Business Week recently:

    And here you will find a letter from the CEO of the Sea Shepherd Society to the President of Yahoo!:


    Wolfgang Leander

  • Mr. Man.

    I like shark fins. Yum.

  • Mr. Man.

    Shark fins. Yum.

  • Wolfgang Leander

    Mr. Man: Enjoy them, just be careful – shark fins have a lot of mercury. And mercury makes you impotent. No such thing as a free (shark fin soup) lunch… 🙂

  • Wolfgang Leander

    No kidding: Shark finning is bad for the sharks and bad for the folks who eat the soup.

  • zeeshan

    lock for passwort