Chinese e-commerce company, Alibaba Group, is going to buy a 28% stake in a digital mapping company called AutoNavi Holdings Ltd (NASDAQ:AMAP) for $294 million, according to Chinese news portal Sina. Alibaba will become the largest shareholder in AutoNavi. Alibaba also recently bought an 18% stake in Sina Corp’s microblogging service Weibo, which has similar functionalities as Twitter.
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Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba has acquired an 18% stake in Sina’s Weibo. Weibo is a Chinese microblogging service that is similar to Twitter. The 18% stake will cost Alibaba $586 million. Alibaba will have the option to increase their shares in Weibo up to about 30%.
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Alibaba Group has announced that Jonathan Lu Zhaoxi will be replacing Jack Ma as CEO starting on May 10th. Ma, 48, will become executive chairman and will be involved in the company’s management development and business strategy going forward.
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Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba is preparing for an IPO in the second half of 2013 or early 2014 according to a report from Marbridge Daily. Marbridge referred to a Chinese-language website called Sootoo.com, which supposedly found out the information from a leaked internal memo. Alibaba Group acquired half of the stake in their company back from Yahoo! They also have the right to buy back the rest when Alibaba launches an IPO.
Alibaba Group is building their own mobile operating system called Aliyun and it is powering a device called the Acer CloudMobile, which means that the Chinese e-commerce company has already hit the ground running. Alibaba is going to be spinning off a team to focus exclusively on the Aliyun operating system. Google is not too happy with Aliyun because they claim it uses certain aspects built into Google Android. Alibaba is also investing $200 million into the Aliyun spin-off to be as strong as Android in China.
After taxes, Yahoo! will make around $4.3-$4.5 billion from the $7.6 billion Alibaba deal. Yahoo! is selling a portion of their stake in Alibaba. In a memo to employees Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer said that she will be returning $3.65 billion of that to shareholders. Yahoo! will be keeping $650 million for themselves. Below is a memo that Mayer sent to employees. Below is the memo:
Yahoo! has closed on the $7.6 billion sale of Alibaba. Yahoo! owned over half of the company before the sale took place. According to Alibaba VP John W. Spelich, the Chinese e-commerce company handled around $12 billion in transactions in the past 12 months and has a valuation of $40 billion. This is the largest private non-LBO financing ever for a technology company. Now Alibaba has $3 billion in cash and has strategic flexibility. After taxes, Yahoo! made around $4.5 billion. This is a solid return on the $1 billion that Yahoo! co-founder Jerry Yang put into the company seven years ago. It is likely that some of the proceeds will go back towards the shareholders as part of a stock buy-back plan.
The Acer CloudMobile has swapped from Google Android to Alibaba’s Aliyun OS. The dual-core CloudMobile is expected to be released in China tomorrow for ¥2,999 (approximately $474). This makes it the most expensive phone in the country. Acer chose the cloud-based Aliyun OS for Chinese customers because of its ease, especially for first-time smartphone users. Acer plans to explore Aliyun for follow-up devices as well. One more will be released next month and more will arrive in 2013.