Report: Yahoo may buy $1B stake in Chinese Web site

Yahoo Inc. is in talks to buy a 35% stake in Chinese Web auction site Corp. for nearly $1 billion, according to a report Monday from

Such an investment would be the biggest in China's Internet industry to date, the report said, and would come on the heels of one of the most successful initial public offerings ever for a Chinese dot-com. It could also foretell the start of an Internet boom in China, home to the world's second-largest Internet audience.

The Forbes report cited unnamed sources close to the negotiations. Yahoo, in Santa Clara, Calif., couldn't immediately be reached for comment, and a spokesman for declined to comment. "We don't comment on rumor or speculation," said Porter Erisman,'s vice president of corporate marketing.

A deal with would put Yahoo in a better position to compete against eBay Inc. in China. Alibaba runs three popular online marketplaces in China,, and The company's site competes directly against eBay's China auction operations, while is an international business-to-business e-commerce site, and is a business-to-business e-commerce site for Chinese companies.

On Friday, Chinese Internet search site Inc. rode a recent craze for Chinese Web stocks to one of the best one-day gains in recent memory, rising 354% on its opening day to close at $122.54 per share on the Nasdaq stock exchange. The company, which operates one of China's most heavily used search engines at, opened the stock trading day at just $27 per share.

Copyright © 2005 IDG Communications, Inc.

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