Sat, Jul 30, 2011 - Page 11 News List

Yahoo settles its disagreement with Chinese partners


US Internet firm Yahoo and Japan’s SoftBank said yesterday they had reached agreement with their Chinese partners at Alibaba Group (阿里巴巴) in a dispute over online payments platform Alipay.

Alibaba Group — which is 43 percent owned by Yahoo — “will continue to participate in Alipay’s (支付寶) future financial performance, including a future initial public offering [IPO] or other liquidity event,” the companies said in a joint statement.

Under the terms of the agreement, Alibaba Group will receive no less than US$2 billion and no more than US$6 billion from an IPO or sale of Alipay, the payment platform of Alibaba Group.

Alipay will also continue to provide payment-processing services to Alibaba Group and its Taobao marketplace, China’s top online retailer, the statement said.

The dispute became public knowledge in May when Yahoo notified US regulators that ownership of Alipay had been shifted to a Chinese firm owned mostly by Alibaba CEO Jack Ma (馬雲).

Yahoo said the transfer was done without the knowledge or approval of Alibaba’s board of directors or shareholders, which also include SoftBank.

However, Ma insisted that Yahoo and SoftBank were informed of the transfer of ownership.

“Over the last few months, we have worked cooperatively with our partners at Yahoo and SoftBank to reach an agreement that serves the interests of all parties,” Ma said in the statement.

“This agreement is good for Alibaba Group and its stakeholders, including customers, employees and shareholders. Most importantly, Alipay was able to secure the license it needed to continue operating,” Ma said.

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