Jack Ma speaks during The Future of the Global...
Jack Ma: Looking for a gateway into the US? via Wikipedia

Alibaba‘s CEO Jack Ma, the leading e-commerce site in China, made some waves by suggesting he might be buying the struggling US-site Yahoo. Serial entrepreneur Marc van der Chijs discusses on his weblog how Alibaba could use Yahoo to get into the US market.

Marc van de Chijs:

By buying Yahoo or taking a big stake in it, Alibaba can enter the US market. I think Alibaba wants to grow outside of its homebase of China, and this may be a great way to kickstart that. Alibaba was the reason that Ebay never succeeded in China, despite investing tons of resources. Now Alibaba wants to fight with Ebay on Ebay’s home turf. Jack Ma even announced that he plans to live in the US for a year, I don’t think he would do that just to buy a share in Yahoo.

But Alibaba likely can’t do it alone, even if it wants to buy Yahoo completely they probably can’t finance it. So they will need partners, and it seems both Silver Lake (a PE fund) and the Russian DST fund are joining Alibaba in a consortium. Seems like a good combination to get Yahoo back on track to me…

I think there will be a problem: The US government. I don’t think they will like a Chinese company to take control of one of America’s biggest online properties, with a huge database of emails and credit card details, plus one of the biggest search engines. It won’t be the first time they block a deal (think Huawei trying to buy 3Com), and I would not be surprised if a Alibaba/Yahoo deal would be blocked in the same way.


Marc van der Chijs

More at Marc van de Chijs’ weblog

Marc van de Chijs is a speaker at the China Speakers Bureau. Do you need him at your meeting or conference? Do get in touch.

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