On Friday, Alibaba started trading on the New York Stock Exchange, and as part of the historic IPO, Yahoo made billions of dollars and still has billions left to make — all thanks to a deal made nearly 10 years ago.
Way back in August 2005, Yahoo had officially decided to invest $US1 billion in Alibaba in exchange for about 40% stake in the company. The celebration of that announcement took place in the China World Hotel in Beijing, but its roots can be traced back to May 2005 in Pebble Beach California.
There, at a CEO Summit event hosted by Hua Yuan Science and Technology Association (HYSTA), Alibaba CEO Jack Ma met Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang.
“There, Jack Ma and Jerry Yang started the conversation on this historical partnership between Yahoo and Alibaba,” HYSTA spokesperson Maggie Xiao tells Business Insider. HYSTA is the oldest (and largest) organisation for Chinese entrepreneurs and operates in both China and Silicon Valley.
Robin Li from Baidu was also at the Summit and Ma initially approached him about funding Alibaba. In the end, Yang and Yahoo sealed the deal.
Their fateful meeting and fledgling friendship was captured on film: