Yahoo to end investment in AliBaba.com…
According to various online news sites… it looks like Yahoo is to shed the investment it made in Alibaba.com. Four years ago Yahoo invested in 1.14% of AliBaba, a deal which gave AliBaba management control over Yahoo China.
It appears that AliBaba’s plans for global expansion followed by Yahoo and Microsofts search deal have complicated this relationship… and is resulting in Yahoo dropping it’s full stake (as largest shareholder) of $150 Million.
I see this as a benefit for both companies. Yahoo probably doesn’t mind having some cashflow for some of it’s plans in the emerging markets such as the recent acquisition of Maktoob in the Middle East, not to mention the gains it’ll have made from this investment. While for AliBaba this gives them a bit more control over their destiny… and boost liquidity.
What does this say about Yahoo’s ambitions in China though? Are they looking to manage Yahoo China themselves? or are they looking to reduce activity and focus on other ripe markets with much less competition?