Yahoo Boosts China R&D

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Chief Product Development Manager for  Yahoo Inc. said during a visit to Beijing that the company is expanding its Research and Development operations in the world’s second biggest economy, despite escalating tensions between Yahoo and that country’s biggest e-commerce website, Alibaba Group Holding, Ltd.


Mr. Irving said that Yahoo’s R&D center in China currently has hundreds of employees, added 100 staff last year, and plans to continue increasing staff at a similar rate this year.  Yahoo’s R&D operation in China is its third largest after centers in California and Bangalore, India.


Mr. Irving demonstrated Yahoo’s flagship Product, Livestand, to Chinese technology reporters. Livestand is a publishing platform that will bring in content from Yahoo, Forbes magazine, and others.  Livestand was introduced as part of Yahoo’s plans to place more importance on mobile products in order to attract more young internet users.


John Spelich, spokesman for the Alibiba Group, said they had not heard of this product before, and will have to consider it further.  Yahoo will launch Livestand in one other non-English market and in the United States in the third quarter.


Mr. Irving did not talk to reporters about growing tensions between Yahoo and Alibaba over the announcement by the latter last week that it had spun off the Alipay online payment system, an important subsidiary without informing or seeking the approval of the Alibaba Group board.  Yahoo owns 40 percent of Alibaba.


The Alibaba Group board insists Yahoo knew about the transfer of Alipay.


Yahoo made a deal with Alibaba Group in 2005 to hand over its China operation, and $1 billion in exchange for a 40 percent equity stake. Since then Yahoo has seen its search market revenue drop from 25% to 1%.

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Author: David John Walker

Dave has a B.A. in Mathematics, loves writing and reading about the latest developments in technology and social media, and has been working as a freelance writer for five years.

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