Posted by: Bruce Einhorn on November 15, 2007
After more than a year of awful PR, it must be a big relief to Jerry Yang to start winning some praise for how Yahoo handles its China problem. Yahoo has settled with the families of the Chinese dissidents who sued the company for providing the government with information that landed them in jail. Yahoo now pledges to do its best to get those prisoners released. But Jerry Yang is not in charge of Yahoo China. Jack Ma, CEO of Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba, is. Yahoo sold its China subsidiary to Ma’s company in 2005. Alibaba has avoided confrontations with the Chinese government as it has built the most successful Internet empire in the PRC. It just had the biggest-ever IPO for a Chinese Internet company. And it’s focusing on expanding its reach as consumer spending online takes off. Does this sound like a company that would be keen to get on board with a policy that’s sure to annoy, if not enrage, policymakers in Beijing?