_If not your career, then your network should be global. No, this interest on the part of Jack Ma, Chairman of Alibaba, is not more off-shoring. This is part of the vast sea change in the global economy where your employer can be anywhere. Where do you want to work? Well you can pick a country, a region, or a hemisphere. A client of mine works for Carls Jr. in Asia, and no, he is not flipping burgers. Language is not a barrier especially if you speak English as one of your languages but an international perspective and inclination is absolutely essential.
The interesting thing about Yahoo being owned by a company located in China vs Microsoft is that it probably will save US jobs. Think about it. What ever can be outsourced or off-shored has already been done at Yahoo. If Microsoft buys Yahoo, there are obvious top down consolidations and cost savings just because of the easy geographic proximity of Redmond. I doubt Jack Ma will be able or willing to move HR, Finance, Legal, or any other business function out of the USA. He needs them all right where they are for continuation and business growth. This is an Alibaba foothold in the USA marketplace and the Western Hemisphere.
Yahoo employees should be cheering this one on. We get too xenophobic in our thinking when it comes to being owned by foreign companies. Much of it is not common knowledge, otherwise people would be shocked at how much of the US GDP is owned by British companies.
What does this mean to you? Maybe nothing but probably a lot. We are all affected by everything everywhere. Don't kid yourself. Your best insurance in a global economy that's going more global daily is to build a global network. Expand your contacts off-shore. Network with people in your field or profession in other countries. Connect to colleagues in your industry and sector in other regions. Use social profiles everywhere. It's not just all about Linkedin.com. That's just a good start. Try Orkut, Viadeo, Xing.
The article was published in the Stanford GSB News, September, 2011, and a link to the site is at the end of the excerpt.
China's Alibaba Wants to Acquire Yahoo, Says Jack Ma
Jack Ma, chairman of China's Alibaba internet giant, told a Stanford audience his firm is "very interested" in acquiring Yahoo. Ma was one of the speakers at the "China 2.0" conference sponsored by the Stanford Program on Regions of Innovation and Entrepreneurship on Sept. 30.
STANFORD GRADUATE SCHOOL OF BUSINESS – In a wide-ranging talk, Jack Ma, chairman of China's Alibaba Group, publicly declared his interest in acquiring troubled U.S. internet giant Yahoo, while also reflecting on his 12-year journey building an internet powerhouse that has transformed commerce for small businesses and consumers in China.
The Chinese e-commerce billionaire addressed a Sept. 30 conference at the Stanford Graduate School of Business on the rise of China's internet. The gathering, "China 2.0: Transforming Media and Commerce," was sponsored by the Stanford Program on Regions of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (SPRIE). With more than 600 registered participants, the event featured talks by leading Chinese internet entrepreneurs and venture capitalists active in Asia as well as a look at ongoing Stanford research on venture investment patterns and networks in China.
Speaking without prepared notes, Ma revealed that he plans to spend the coming year in the United States. "After 12 years, I need some time to rest. This year has been so difficult for me. I'm now coming out for a year," said the Alibaba chief, whose company is based in Hangzhou, China.
Ma was asked if he wanted to acquire Yahoo, the struggling U.S. internet pioneer that owns 40% of Alibaba. "Yes. We're very interested in that. We're very interested in Yahoo because our Alibaba Group is so important to Yahoo and Yahoo is important to us. We are interested in the whole piece of Yahoo," he said, adding that Alibaba also has talked with other prospective buyers. However, a deal would be very "complicated," Ma cautioned. "I cross my fingers and say that we are very, very interested in that."
Alibaba's takeover of Yahoo would represent something of a role reversal, symbolizing how much China's internet—and to some degree, its economy—has eclipsed that of the United States'. In 2005, Ma sold a 40% stake in the fledgling Alibaba to Yahoo in exchange for $1 billion and control of Yahoo China. The Alibaba-Yahoo relationship has been strained in recent years and Ma has telegraphed his desire to reduce or buy back Yahoo's stake. "We appreciate yesterday, but are looking for a better tomorrow," Ma told the Stanford audience.
He described Jerry Yang, co-founder and board member of Yahoo, as "a good personal friend." Ma added, "Without the Yahoo investment, we wouldn't be that successful today. Yahoo is one of three companies that woke me up to the internet. Without the internet, there would be no Alibaba and no Jack Ma."
Ma downplayed recent investor concerns that Chinese regulators will clamp down on the "variable interest entity" (VIE), a vehicle that has allowed foreigners to indirectly invest in Chinese internet companies and for those firms to go public in overseas stock markets. "The VIE is a great innovation," but "we've got to make the VIE really transparent," said Ma. "I don't see that the government is going to shut it down," he added.
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