Alibaba site with own search engine

Alibaba has launched a new search engine for a booming online retail site run by Alibaba Group, the owner of Yahoo China, which just one more sign that Taobao.com is taking over roles formerly filled at the group by Yahoo.

Seen as China’s version of eBay and Amazon.com combined, Taobao earlier this year launched a search engine for items being sold on the site. Alibaba has also recently transplanted an online classifieds platform from Yahoo China to Taobao and, at the same time that it has closed social networking sections of Yahoo China, it has created a social-networking site with Facebook-style applications inside Taobao.

Alibaba, which in 2005 traded a 40 percent stake in its group for control of the Yahoo brand in China, also owns China’s top e-commerce Web sites, including business-to-business platform Alibaba.com and Taobao, a retail and auction platform. Yahoo and industry analysts expected that handing to Alibaba control of Yahoo China would boost its growth, but instead the brand has struggled in a local search market dominated by rivals Baidu and Google.

Now Alibaba is in the process of restructuring Yahoo China to focus on entertainment features, a turnaround from efforts to make the portal a user-generated content base. Meanwhile the company has launched new efforts in online search and user-generated content for Taobao, which is booming as more Chinese get online and turn to the site to buy everything from toasters and jackets to laptops and mobile phones.

While Taobao does not charge listing or transaction fees, its huge traffic flow gives it strong revenue potential. The launch of a search engine puts Taobao in more direct competition with search companies like Baidu for advertising dollars from small and medium-size businesses, said Li Zhi, an analyst at local consultancy Analysys International.
“Taobao will definitely use this search engine as another marketing and promotion feature,” said Li.

This news is from China electronics manufacturer.

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