Alibaba Reloads Yahoo China

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The new look for the Chinese portal, removing a lot of its clutter and simplifying the home page, now resembles its search engine competitors in China.

Imagine going to Yahoo.com today, and instead of it looking like this, it looked like this instead.

That’s similar to the change Alibaba’s CEO Jack Ma ordered for Yahoo China, as FT.com reported. “Yahoo China is very complicated. I’m confused by it,” he said in the article. “I just want to make it simple, very simple.”

Alibaba acquired Yahoo China’s assets in August. The shift in focus from the wide-range of services to a straightforward search page demonstrates the urgency Alibaba feels in attempting to overtake local rival Baidu.com.

Other competitors, like Google and MSN, have been moving to ramp up their search services in China, too. “If we don’t move fast in the next eight to 10 months, we have no chance,” Ma said.

The potential of the Chinese search market is so great, Microsoft and Google went to court over Google’s hiring of a Microsoft executive to run Google China. The case over Kai-Fu Lee’s non-compete agreement terms has him idling as a talent recruiter until at least January.

Then, a trial should decide whether he can start working on technology issues for Google or remain on the sidelines until his non-compete agreement ends in July 2006.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.

Alibaba Reloads Yahoo China
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