Monday, May 07, 2007

More on the Ali-IPO

The rumblings of Alibaba's proposed IPO of its B2B division continue to roll. It's becoming clearer that, as Taobao is still a revenue-free-zone and Yahoo! China remains, to put it politely, troubled, they will not be included. David Wei's role in the Group becomes clearer: he's to front up a smooth IPO.

This piece at the China Tech Stories blog gives some nice background on the group as well as some opinions on the current "third phase" of Alibaba's development; beating Baidu with the Yahoo! brand. Blogger Maoxianjia's judgement is harsh:

Soon after the merger with Yahoo.China, [founder Jack] Ma announced that Yahoo.China will surpass Baidu to become the largest Chinese search engine. He redesigned Yahoo Chinese site by imitating Baidu the way Baidu imitated Google. The "sou"(bad idea in Chinese) idea has been a disaster. Yahoo.China is on the way to disappearance.
That may be over-stating the case and I wouldn't underestimate the capacity of Jack Ma and his team. However, they're clearly grappling with a very tough case when it comes to finding a niche for Yahoo! in China. And how the mighty are fallen when we're talking niches for Yahoo! They couldn't find a more suitable partner than that other tired titan, Microsoft.

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