Alibaba.com, the Chinese B2B marketplace, in which Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) holds direct and indirect stakes, said revenue for the first half of '08 jumped 47.8 percent to RMB 1.45 billion ($211.9 million). Net income was up 136 percent to 697.2 million ($101.8). In terms of raw numbers, Alibaba.com has 32.5 million users, an increase of 32.5 percent. So far, the company is weathering the weak global economy, but it says it's starting to see a slowdown in the addition of Gold Supplier members in light of the "economic winter". It expects this weakness to continue into next year, although in the long-term the company is confident it will ride China's growth, as a key global supplier.
Yahoo owns a 39 percent stake in Alibaba, which itself owns 75 percent of Alibaba.com. Yahoo also invested another $100 million (about 1 percent) in Alibaba.com prior to its IPO last year. There's been talk of Yahoo liquidating its Asian assets for the sake of shareholders, though that chatter has died down along with Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) talk.
By Joseph Weisenthal