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Alibaba spins out Aliyun team with $200 million investment, pep talk

Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
September 22, 2012
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You can imagine that the team building Alibaba's Aliyun mobile OS must have hurt feelings following Google's accusations that Aliyun is just a corruption of Android. Alibaba chief Jack Ma is keen to restore some of that wounded pride, at least on the surface. The CEO has used a since-confirmed staff memo to spin out Aliyun as a separate entity that will "safeguard the healthy growth" of the platform and Alibaba's mobile strategy. It's not solely an instance of tough love, either: Alibaba is putting $200 million into the new firm and will use executive Wang Jian as a link between the two sides, having him serve as the CTO for both companies. With that in mind, Ma's ultimate intentions aren't clear. While the separation may be a sign of a tighter focus on software, it also reduces the impact for Alibaba if anything drags Aliyun down -- and either motivation would be helpful for a company devoted to the web before anything else.

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