11 August 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Internet company Yahoo Inc. announced today it will buy for $1 billion cash a 40 percent stake in the Chinese online retailer alibaba.com.
The agreement makes Yahoo the largest strategic investor in the Chinese company.
The deal is the biggest yet in a flurry of investments in China by foreign Internet companies eager for a share in the huge Chinese market.
According to the latest government figures, the number of people online in China has reached 103 million -- the second-biggest population of Web users after the United States. Chinese online commerce, however, is still in its infancy.
Alibaba.com was founded in 1999. It is based in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou.
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