Yahoo’s Executive Apologizes Over Imprisonment Of Chinese Dissident

Yahoo Executive Offers Apology to Lawmakers from the Wall Street Journal reports Michael Callahan, executive vice president and general counsel of Yahoo, issued a statement apologizing for providing incorrect information to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs over the jailed Chinese reporter. Part of the statement read: I neglected to directly alert the committee of this new information and that oversight led to a misunderstanding that I deeply regret and have apologized to the Committee for creating It is alleged that Yahoo's actions have lead to the imprisonment of a dissident in Chin [...]


Yahoo Launches Search Assist In UK

Yahoo has informed me that they have launched Yahoo Search Assist in the UK. If you go to http://uk.search.yahoo.com/ and conduct a search, you will see the Search Assist feature: Yahoo launched this in the US earlier this month. "The new Yahoo! Search is focused on providing consumers with the most relevant information as well as providing the best user experience possible. We know that consumers want a complete answer, not just links, and the enhancements we are making are focused on getting people to the best answer in one search whether that’s a Web link, photo, video or music clip [...]


Congress May Penalize Tech Companies That Cooperate With ‘Internet Restricting’ Governments

Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft are all doing business in China. There's been bad PR and even congressional hearings for Yahoo about its cooperation with the Chinese government in the country's effort to censor the Internet and crack down on dissent. Turkey and Thailand have blocked YouTube, and so on. Now this article from Forbes describes US Congressional efforts "to penalize U.S. companies up to $2 million if they cooperate with the technological surveillance of political dissidents or share technology and information used for 'Internet-restricting' purposes." The search engines will no dou [...]


Alibaba.com Set For High Flying Chinese IPO

In what is widely expected to be the biggest technology IPO since Google and the biggest Internet IPO by a Chinese firm, Alibaba.com is ready to sell just over 850 million shares on the Hong Kong stock exchange. Those shares could fetch as much as $1.49 billion. Yahoo owns 39 percent of Alibaba Group, the parent of Alibaba.com, and has said it will buy about $100 million worth of shares in the offering. Trading is set to begin the first week of November. [...]


Did Dalai Lama Award Cause China To Redirect Google, Yahoo & Microsoft Search Traffic To Baidu?

Reports have been coming in that people trying to reach Google, Yahoo and Microsoft from within China or via Chinese ISPs are being redirected to Baidu. Some have accused Baidu of hijacking the traffic, but we think it's likely that China is upset with the US over the award it granted to the Dalai Lama and is retaliating by hurting US-based search engines. Back in 2002, when China was upset with Google, it similarly redirected traffic. From a Reuters article at that time: Some users in Beijing and Shanghai were redirected to Peking University's no-frills search site Tianwang, the little kn [...]


Report: Yahoo To Purchase 10 Percent Or $100M Of Alibaba IPO

According to various reports, Yahoo is going to buy either a 10 percent stake or $100 million worth of the forthcoming public offering of B2B site Alibaba.com on the Hong Kong exchange. The company already owns a significant minority stake (39 percent) of Alibaba Group, the parent of Alibaba.com. It would be buying a stake directly in the B2B site. As Loren Baker explains, Yahoo doesn't own its foreign sites, which are typically operated as joint ventures with local control. [...]


Yahoo Acquires Ad Network BlueLithium

This afternoon Yahoo announced that it was buying US-based ad network BlueLithium for $300 million in cash. Founded in 2004, the company has 10 offices globally and claims more unique US visitors than Google, MSN, AOL and eBay. It also claims to be the fifth largest US ad network and the second largest in the UK. It's part of Yahoo's push to create "the largest and most effective online ad network globally." That network includes the recently acquired RightMedia Exchange. The company will apparently operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Yahoo and will report into Hilary Schneider's new orga [...]


Send To (German) Car: The New Local Search Front

Google CEO Eric Schmidt said at one point that one of the reasons Google wanted to get into radio advertising was that the company couldn't reach users during the morning or afternoon commutes. That's all changing very quickly. Both Google and Yahoo have almost simultaneously announced in-car mapping and local search functionality. As an extension of its earlier "Send to Car" Maps partnership with BMW, Google has introduced in-car local search for BMWs in Germany. Here's a video that partly illustrates the functionality. Google has also expanded the Send to Car Maps functionality to Italy [...]


Yahoo Asks Court To Dismiss Jailed Chinese Reporter Case

Yahoo to Court: Dismiss Torture Case from the New York Times blog reports that Yahoo is requesting that the court dismiss the lawsuit brought by jailed Chinese reporter. Chinese reporter Shi Tao was jailed and allegedly tortured by the Chinese government after Yahoo provided evidence against the reporter to the Chinese government. He then sued Yahoo over its involvement in the case and others. Yahoo, in its filing, argued that this case "has no place in the American courts:" This is a lawsuit by citizens of China imprisoned for using the Internet in China to express political views in viol [...]


Yahoo China & MSN China Sign Controversial “Self-Discipline Pact” With China

Yahoo!, Microsoft ink web pact with Chinese government from The Register reports Yahoo China and MSN China have signed a pact with the Chinese government that "encourages" rather than requires bloggers to identify themselves to the companies with real names, contact details and for the companies to censor material. Reporters Without Borders claims the new "self-discipline pact" from the Internet Society of China will make it easier for the Chinese government to crack down on bloggers. This decision will have grave consequences for the Chinese blogosphere and marks the end of anonymous blogg [...]


Qihoo Wins Unfair Competition Suit Against Yahoo China

Qihoo lawsuit win closes chapter in dispute with China Yahoo from Interfax reports Qihoo has won an unfair competition lawsuit against Yahoo China. Yahoo China has to pay Qihoo $9,210 and post an apology on their home page. This news comes after Yahoo China Wins Suit Against Hongyi's Qihoo For Unfair Competition over Qihoo's 360safe software, claimed to have been a form of malware. There is a lot of history between the two companies and management. The article has a nice summary of that history: The ruling should signal an end to the long-running battle of attrition between Qihoo and Chi [...]


EU May Require Google To Expire Cookies Even Sooner

News.com reports on a positive but cautious response from the European Union to Google's previous announcement that it would reduce its data/cookie retention time to two years. A prominent member of the EU's Article 29 Data Protection Working Party told ZDNet that there would be discussion regarding whether Google had "gone far enough." Microsoft and Yahoo are also both subject to the same concerns and issues but Google has been the most cooperative of the three to date in working with the EU around issues of consumer privacy. Danny previously covered Google's response to the EU regarding d [...]


Stockholders Vote Down Yahoo’s CEO Compensation Cut & China Censorship Proposal

Yahoo shareholders defeat exec pay/perform link from Reuters reports Yahoo's shareholders have defeated proposals to cut Yahoo CEO Terry Semel's salary and to practice anti-censorship policies in China and establish a human rights committee. It was expected that there would be major pressure for Yahoo to tie Semel's compensation package directly to company performance. Many people feel that Semel is overpaid when looking at the company's performance in the 2006 fiscal year. With a 34 percent in favor and 62 percent against, Semel's pay remains the same. The anti-censorship and human right [...]


Yahoo Europe Launches Panama Search Marketing Platform

Yahoo To Launch Panama PPC System In The UK "Soon" from yesterday is no longer "soon," it is now. Some European advertisers have already been upgraded to "Panama," Yahoo's new search marketing platform that was released in the U.S. back in October. An official email was sent out to advertisers today, notifying them that they can request to be upgraded as well. There is a lot of information over at the new Upgrade Centre and I have some additional information as well. [...]


Yahoo China Ordered To Remove Links To Unlicensed Music

China court orders Yahoo China to curb music links from Reuters reports Beijing's No. 2 Intermediate Court has ordered Yahoo China to remove "links to free Web sites offering music-downloads." In addition, Yahoo China has to pay 200,000 yuan ($27,200 US) "facilitating distribution" of this music. Yahoo China said they will be appealing this decision. [...]


Yahoo Sued For Allegedly Helping Jail Wang Xiaoning

Chinese couple sues Yahoo for man's imprisonment from Reuters reports that Wang Xiaoning and his wife Yu Ling have sued Yahoo in the U.S. District Court for Northern California for allegedly helping the Chinese government prosecute Wang Xiaoning. The filing said that Xiaoning was in custody, he was "subjected to torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, including arbitrary, prolonged and indefinite detention, for expressing their free speech rights and for using the Internet to communicate about democracy and human rights matters." The World Organization for Human Rights USA, who i [...]


Yahoo China Sued For Linking To Unlicensed Music

Yahoo! China sued for alleged copyright breach at Reuters reports that Yahoo China has been sued by Warner Music Group Corp. and other music giants for linking to "unlicensed music." The case was filed in early January by "11 companies and seeks damages of 5.5 million yuan ($710,686)." In November of last year, music publishers lost a similar case against Chinese search engine Baidu for publishing links to "sites offering illegal music downloads," with a Beijing court ruling that the service did not constitute an infringement as the music was downloaded from webservers of third parties. Port [...]


Yahoo Japan Betting More On Web Food Delivery Business

I always find it interesting watching how Yahoo Japan works compared to Yahoo USA. Yahoo Japan To Boost Stake In Yumenomachi Souzou-Iinkai at Forbes reports that Yahoo Japan has increased their stake in Yumenomachi, an Internet food delivery business, to almost 42% - up from a 23% stake. I know this isn't very search related, but if Google bought a piece of a food delivery business, everyone would be talking about it. I found the report pretty interesting and a bit humorous, so I figured I would highlight it just to lighten things up. [...]


New Yahoo ‘OurCity’ Local Mashups

Om Malik writes about Yahoo testing new local mashups (called "OurCity") in India, involving content from Flickr, Del.icio.us, Upcoming and news. As Om points out, what's missing is maps (and maybe video). But this is an interesting further push into community/social media in the local space for Yahoo. The interface is fresher and more visual than the current Yahoo Local, which is one of the best local products on the U.S. market. It will be interesting to see how far and wide this test rolls out and whether it makes it to the U.S. Yahoo has integrated Flickr into many of its sites, includ [...]


Google, Microsoft, & Yahoo Ask For Help With International Censorship

News.com reports that Google, Microsoft and Yahoo have asked the US government for help when it comes to international censorship policies and law. The article has some more insight into the challenges the search companies face with countries like China. Right now, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo have to make "moral judgments" about international authorities' requests for information when they do not have to do the same for US requests. "That's why we need the government's help" explained Michael Samway, Yahoo's deputy general counsel. [...]


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