Alibaba.com announced today the re-launch of Yahoo (YHOO) China, with a new home page and business model focused on search.
As part of the re-launch, Yahoo China's search brands, including Yisou.com, have been consolidated and rebranded as "Yahoo Search". The new site looks similar to Google (GOOG), Baidu (BIDU), and other search websites.
"Yahoo China's new direction can be summed up in one key word –'search'," said Jack Ma, CEO of Alibaba.com, which in October acquired the China business of Yahoo Inc. and became the exclusive licensee to the Yahoo brand and search technology in China.
Yahoo China already enjoys a strong second place position in the China search market, on the heels of market leader Baidu by only 5% in terms of market share. According to the latest available independent study from
iResearch (Q1 2005), Yahoo China's search properties had a combined market share of 32% as measured by search queries, placing Yahoo China in the No. 2 position behind Baidu (37%) and well ahead of third-place Google (19%) in China.
With a team of Chinese-speaking search engineers based in both China and Silicon Valley, the partnership between Alibaba and Yahoo Inc. will allow Yahoo China to offer the best Chinese-language search technology to China's Internet users.
In the three months since announcing the Yahoo China acquisition, Yahoo China's servers have been moved to China to support large scale growth in search traffic on its site.