Yahoo's continued presence in China could be in doubt after its partner in the country, Alibaba Group, criticised the internet giant for its comments on the recent attack by Chinese hackers on Google and other companies, according to reports.
Yahoo sold its China business to Alibaba in 2005. The Chinese internet company runs retail site Taobao.com, payment platform Alipay and e-commerce site Alibaba.com, but Yahoo retains a 30 per cent stake in Alibaba.
After Google revealed last week that it and at least 20 other big name firms had been hit by a highly sophisticated attack originating from China, Yahoo condemned the incident and said that it stood aligned with Google in opposing all actions which violate user privacy, despite going on to say "our position in China will remain business as usual".
However, Alibaba spokesman John Spelich is reported as saying in a statement that his firm has "communicated to Yahoo that Yahoo's statement that it is 'aligned' with the position Google took last week was reckless given the lack of facts in evidence".
He added that "Alibaba doesn't share this view", a position which could cause problems for Yahoo if it wants to maintain its stake in the company and token presence in the region.
It is thought that Yahoo was one of the other firms to be hit by the targeted hacking attacks, although it has yet to confirm or deny this. The US government is expected to issue a formal complaint to the Chinese authorities about the incident early this week.
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