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The Alibaba Group-Yahoo! Partnership After Five Years

How Yahoo! and Alibaba’s partnership began to unravel.

U.S. Internet giant Yahoo!’s Jerry Yang began a partnership with rising China e-commerce company Alibaba Group’s Jack Ma in 2005 by exchanging a $1 billion investment and Yahoo! China for a forty percent stake in Alibaba Group. Hopes were high that Alibaba’s China expertise combined with Yahoo!’s search technology and deep pockets could help both companies dominate web business in China. However, Ma soon began to resent Yahoo!’s influence over his company as Alibaba continued to grow rapidly just as Yahoo!’s fortunes dwindled.


This case is particularly relevant as background to the current dispute between the companies over the ownership of Alipay.

Case advisor: 
Li Wei
Case writer: 
Richard Bethune
variable interest entity, investment, partnerships