According to an article published by The Guardian (UK) Alibaba and its chairman Jack Ma recently sparked controversy in the US after he backed the Chinese government over its spat with Google. Ma, who sold shares worth $35m last September, is willing to comply with strict rules governing access to China’s internet, while Google, smarting from complaints by customers alleging government-backed hacking of their accounts, has threatened to shut its operations.  Some analysts believe Ma is happy to see Google shut to clear the way for a revival of Yahoo in China. He runs the Chinese arm after Yahoo sold it in 2005 as part of a deal to acquire a 40% stake in Alibaba.

The row put him in conflict with Yahoo, which took sides with Google, but Ma appears unperturbed by disputes with his largest shareholder. His business is now one of the largest and most valuable in China. Ma’s other main offshoot is taobao.com, a consumer auction site that dominates the market after eBay shut its China operation in 2006.  Alibaba.com has grown to a £7.5bn trading platform in 10 years.   Source: Guardian UK

BIIA Newsletter March I – 2010 Issue