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This article was published on October 7, 2011

Yahoo looking to sell Japanese stake, exit market

Yahoo looking to sell Japanese stake, exit market
Jon Russell
Story by

Jon Russell

Jon Russell was Asia Editor for The Next Web from 2011 to 2014. Originally from the UK, he lives in Bangkok, Thailand. You can find him on T Jon Russell was Asia Editor for The Next Web from 2011 to 2014. Originally from the UK, he lives in Bangkok, Thailand. You can find him on Twitter, Angel List, LinkedIn.

Yahoo is rumoured to be considering the sale of its stake in its high-performing business in Japan to help simplify a potential sale of the struggling firm.

The company may offload its 35% stake in Yahoo Japan, the entity it launched with operator Softbank in 1996, according to Reuters.

In contrast to its troubles in the west, Yahoo enjoys a more positive profile across many Asian markets. Yahoo Japan is the country’s most visited site (according to Alexa rankings) and the company’s most recent public data (PDF) demonstrates its strong performance, particularly on mobile which accounted for around 20% of its 1,762 million page views in March.

The company is already written into Japanese history its stock became the first to break the ¥100 million per share barrier.

While the last year or so has seen Google claim search market dominance in a number of former Yahoo stronghold’s across Asia, the company’s news service remains popular in many parts of the continent, and Southeast Asia in particular.

It remains to be seen if Yahoo will look to cash in on other high-performing Asian assets, if so one would look to Taiwan, where it dominates search and news, or China where, though trailing local competitors like Baidu, it has faired far better in the market than many western tech firms.

Earlier this week Yahoo was at the centre of controversy when Jack Ma, Chairman of Chinese giant Alibaba, confirmed his interest in buying the company. China-US relations are thought be make such a deal impossible, but the rumours of a Yahoo Japan exit suggest a larger deal may be on its way, with Microsoft rumoured to hold an interest.