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China's Alibaba Group is close to securing the cash needed to buy back Yahoo's 39 percent stake in the company. Executives at Alibaba believe that if Microsoft successfully acquires Yahoo, a change in control would present an opportunity to preserve the "management independence" it has today, thanks to a hands-off Jerry Yang. The news might cool Microsoft's already lukewarm shareholders. If Yahoo is worth $42 billion, it's due in large part to owning a stake in a highly trafficked Chinese portal. China already has more Internet users than the United States. (Photo by pmorgan)