China's Alibaba Group is seeking investors to buy the 39 percent stake in the Internet company held by Yahoo Inc, a person with direct knowledge of the situation said on Tuesday, outlining a plan that could stop Microsoft Corp from getting the Alibaba stock.
Alibaba's move indicates it thinks Microsoft is likely to win its $42.4 billion bid to buy Yahoo, in which case the Chinese company would prefer increased independence, the person said. The source did not want to be identified because of the sensitivities surrounding the discussions.
While I'm certain the Alibaba stake holds significant value I'm equally certain that neither Microsoft nor the Chinese government would care to see Microsoft inserted into China's international "trade in manufactured goods" market.
All indications have been that Alibaba is the central government's primary "alter ego" for international trade and/or trade promotion. Trade in Chinese manufactured goods is not quite Microsoft's market - though it certainly wouldn't be a bad move for Microsoft to "open up new markets and revenue streams". :-P
Too bad for Microsoft IF it was obliged to "acquire" (pay for) the Alibaba interest as part of the Yahoo buyout. I suspect soon after the acquisition the Chinese government would soon find a new trade partner.