Yahoo Japan considers an alliance with China’s Alibaba

May 29, 2015 11:07 AM

(Bloomberg)—Yahoo Japan Corp said it is considering a partnership with Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.

The alliance would offer support and lower fees for Japanese e-commerce companies looking to list on China-based Alibaba’s Tmall and Tmall Global shopping sites, Yahoo Japan said in an emailed statement Friday. The Nikkei newspaper reported the tie-up earlier today.

Yahoo Japan’s shares jumped 12%, the most since May 20, 2014, to 556 yen in Tokyo. Alibabafell 1.8% in New York Thursday.

The rising popularity of Japanese goods in China is creating an expansion opportunity for domestic merchants, Yahoo Japan said in the statement. The Tokyo-based company will local competition that three years earlier forced out Rakuten Inc., Japan’s biggest online shopping site operator.

Joining Alibaba would improve the chances of success in an e-commerce market worth 50 trillion yen ($404 billion), Hiroko Sato, an analyst with Jefferies Group LLC., wrote in a report. That’s about five times the size of Yahoo Japan’s home turf, she wrote.

The partnership will begin this summer, Nikkei reported, without saying where it got the information.

The two companies share SoftBank Corp. as a common shareholder. Billionaire Masayoshi Son’s company owns about 36% of Yahoo Japan and 32% of Alibaba, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.




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