Alibaba tests its own social network for China (ALBIY, AAPL, YHOO)


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Leading Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba Group Holdings ( ALBIY , quote ) says it is conducting beta tests of a new social networking service to possibly become the fabled "Facebook of China."

At the moment details about the service, called Leiwang, are sketchy. It is unclear it will become available to the public or what features it will have.

The website for the service talks about the ability to download software related to the site for mobile device using both Android from Google ( GOOG , quote ) and the iOS from Apple ( AAPL , quote ) . Whether this means Leiwang will become a universal "app store" -- something like the way Facebook supports applications from multiple vendors -- is tantalizingly unclear.

This is an interesting move from the company that operates one of China's top online shopping websites Taobao Mall in addition to

Alibaba has, of course, been in the business news headlines lately because of its rumored takeover bid for Yahoo ( YHOO , quote ) . Yahoo owns 40% of Alibaba.

The takeover bid is rumored to involve Alibaba joining forces with Softbank ( SFTBF, quote ) , Blackstone Group ( BX , quote ) and Bain Capital to offer $20 a share for Yahoo.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

This article appears in: Investing , Stocks

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