Alibaba rolls out a "new" Yahoo! China

As the Chinese search engine battle heats up, Alibaba’s Jack Ma sets his sights on the gold medal with a relaunch of Yahoo! China. Goodbye portal, hello search! According to investment bank Piper Jaffray, daily searches by Internet users in China this year are at 360 million and are expected to reach 816 million in 2007. In addition it expects annual revenue from advertising on search sites to reach $1 billion by 2010, up from the $134 million currently being spent. According to iResearch, a Shanghai based Internet market research company, Baidu holds the lead for now with 37% of the search engine market share. Yahoo! China is right behind at 32% (including Yisou and 3721) and Google is trailing at 19%. In addition to its search properties, Alibaba owns an auction and B2B web site with a total of 20 million registered users. The new “cleaner” look of Yahoo! China clearly indicates Mr. Ma wants to focus on search and meet Baidu and Google head on.

Sources: China Daily | Shanghai Daily

David Temple

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