Yahoo!, which in 1999 had established a local unit for exploiting the vast Chinese market did not turn out to be a profitable venture. In an attempt to successfully face the competition from domestic firms such as Baidu and famous web portals like Sina.com, Yahoo!'s China portal will be transformed into a business search engine. This news was made public by The International Herald Tribune. Yahoo!'s China operations are operated by Alibaba Group. The CEO of Alibaba Group, Jack Ma said, “If Yahoo is going to win, it has to do so in a new way.”
Ma accepted that Yahoo! China has not been a very successful venture. But according to him its search engine is used by more influential business-oriented customers, on the other hand Baidu is largely used by students. Yahoo! China will now focus on catering to the needs of high-income users and entrepreneurs. Ma didn't specify a time frame for the changes to take place but said it will need big shifts in institutional culture and technology.