With­out a ques­tion I see that in the fu­ture, more Chi­nese com­pa­nies will be­come even more global.”

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE -

Ya­hoo Inc

co-founder and for­mer CEO of the boards of Ya­hoo Ja­pan and Alibaba Group Hold­ings Ltd.

Yang’s legacy of business acu­men and in­vest­ment vi­sion, es­pe­cially his decision to have Ya­hoo invest in Ya­hoo Ja­pan and China’s e-com­merce pi­o­neer Alibaba lives on. Yang au­tho­rized a $1 bil­lion in­vest­ment in Alibaba in 2005, when the e-com­merce company was in its early stages.

This past Septem­ber, Alibaba had the most suc­cess­ful IPO in US stock mar­ket his­tory by rais­ing $25 bil­lion.Ya­hoo’s ap­pre­ci­at­ing 40% stake of Alibaba helped drive up its stock price to about $48 per share by De­cem­ber, par­tially be­cause of Yang’s pre­scient in­vest­ment.

Ya­hoo still re­tains a 22% stake in Alibaba that is worth more than $35 bil­lion and ac­counts for most of Ya­hoo’s cur­rent mar­ket value (ap­prox­i­mately $42 bil­lion). In 2012, Alibaba founder Jack Ma pres­sured Ya­hoo into sell­ing a por­tion of the Alibaba shares, which net­ted the Cal­i­for­nia-based company $7.6 bil­lion.

“Per­son­ally, in­vest­ing in an en­tre­pre­neur like Jack Ma and his lead­er­ship team was the key to the suc­cess,” said Yang, who re­cently re­joined the Alibaba Board of Direc­tors.

“I’m very ex­cited to be part of the Alibaba Board of Direc­tors, to help them achieve their po­ten­tial in the next phase.” On in­no­va­tion in China

Yang said that in the past few years, there has been a sig­nif­i­cant in­crease in in­no­va­tion by Chi­nese com­pa­nies. While it used to be that Chi­nese com­pa­nies were “fast fol­low­ers”, now there is a lot more in­no­va­tion and lead­er­ship.

“I no longer see it as ‘catch­ing up’ — rather, Chi­nese en­trepreneurs are fo­cus­ing on the mas­sive do­mes­tic Chi­nese mar­ket and are in­no­vat­ing ac­cord­ingly,” said Yang. It is more of a par­al­lel in­no­va­tion track, whereby Chi­nese com­pa­nies can take ad­van­tage of a large mer­chant base, growth in third- and fourth-tier ci­ties, mo­bile and com­merce, and a con­tin­ued man­u­fac­tur­ing ad­van­tage, he said.

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