Yahoo! Will spend $1 billion in cash for a 40% chunk of China’s Internet auctioneer Alibaba.com, a serious statement of intent in the world’s second-biggest and fastest-growing online market.
The deal is the biggest outlay to date for an Internet company in China and it will involve Yahoo! incorporating its entire Chinese search business into Alibaba.
Yahoo! reckons China will be the world’s biggest Internet market within five years. However, it remains an undeveloped market as incomes are still low — the average income, even in the rich cities, is still less than $1,000 a year.
— Clifford Coonan