Alibaba Group has decided to split its classifieds website koubei.com from Yahoo! China, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal.
koubei.com, which advertises everything from real estate to heath products, was acquired by Alibaba in late 2006. Alibaba has had control of Yahoo! China since 2005, and koubei.com was merged with Yahoo! China in June last year. Now, Alibaba is planning to merge koubei.com with taobao.com, the company’s retail website.
The Wall Street Journal states that Yahoo! CEO Carol Bartz told Alibaba executives earlier this year that she hasn't been pleased with how Alibaba has handled the Yahoo! brand in China. Neither Yahoo! or Alibaba would comment on the criticism.
The Wall Street Journal also quotes Alibaba spokesman John Spelich as saying that the company plan to refocus Yahoo! China on entertainment to help the website “differentiate itself from being just another search engine or portal,” however Spelich did not elaborate on these plans.
chinatechnews.com reports that around 100 koubei.com employees may resign as a result of the merger with taobao.com, as this will mean a move from Beijing to the city of Hangzhou.