In the confusing soap opera of Chinese big internet players its hard to remember who’s with who. Essentially if they’re Chinese they hate Baidu so ally with Google, and if they’re American they hate Google so tie up with Baidu, and if they’re Alibaba and Yahoo they like each other and everyone else tried to take a pop.
So here’s ebay, which like Microsoft doesn’t like Google so likes Baidu, is taking on Alibaba with a Business to Business site. I suppose at least they’re in their core competency which seems to be rather unfavourable in Chinese internet search at the moment.
The good news is that they are going in with an escrow system, rather than just credit cards – which are quite restricted in China. If a cheap, widely accepted and trusted escrow system comes in then we think that China will suddenly become a far easier nut to crack.