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Yahoo Bidding For China E-commerce Stake

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The portal and search engine company may grab 35 percent of Alibaba.com, a Chinese e-commerce firm, for $1 billion USD.

Yahoo is close to picking up a piece of a Chinese firm that runs two popular online businesses, online trading firm Alibaba.com and auctioneer Taobao.com, according to Forbes online.

The deal would be the biggest investment by a foreign firm in a Chinese Internet company. Yahoo already owns 3721.com, a Chinese search engine it acquired in 2003, and paid around $100 million USD for that firm.

Interest in China, particularly the Internet sector, has increased dramatically. Companies like Yahoo and its search engine competitors, Google and Microsoft, see the country’s Internet user base of 100 million Chinese as a growing driver of the online advertising market there.

China is second only to the US in total Internet users. The US online advertising market already has a value of several billion dollars. As more users in China join the Internet, the value of that market will increase.

Online advertising has become so compelling as a revenue source that AOL has taken steps to become a portal company in order to replace dwindling subscriber numbers and revenue.

(Tapping that market will be a big focus of Search Engine Strategies 2005 in San Jose. WebProNews has two excellent reporters on the ground there, and will be updating this site and our discussion forum, WebProWorld, with breaking news from the conference.)

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

Yahoo Bidding For China E-commerce Stake
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