Chinese e-commerce company has spent three-fourths of US$1 billion in cash that Yahoo (YHOO) paid for its 40% stake last summer, Alibaba CEO Jack Ma said.

Speaking at the Search Engine Strategies Conference in Nanjing last week, Ma said "US$1 billion was paid in but we have spent some US$750 million."

The three-fourths of the US$1 billion has been spent on research and development and other projects.

One of the projects cited by Jack Ma, and reported on by Search Engine Roundtable from Ma's keynote at SES China may involve a more Sino-centric approach to search in China.

Ma commented on the need for unique products for the Chinese market, "We'll roll out products that are really geared for the Chinese market. Search engine technology today is geared for US markets and supports US culture. It would be better to have a customized solution for the 120 million Chinese netizens."

Ma said Alibaba was still in a very healthy cash position. He added that Alibaba was profitable.

It had also pooled US$84 million before the Yahoo acquisition.

He said the company was looking at further investments, both in talent and in other business areas, without giving details, although he said he would not be investing in online gaming.


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