HANGZHOU, June 22 (Xinhua) -- Alibaba Group on Wednesday said the company and its major stakeholders Yahoo! Inc. and Softbank Corporation "have made substantive progress" toward settling a dispute over the status of Ailibaba's popular on-line payment platform Alipay.
"Alibaba Group and its major shareholders, Yahoo! Inc. and Softbank Corporation continue to be engaged in constructive negotiations," according to a joint statement of the three provided to Xinhua by Alibaba.
"Our objective is to reach an agreement in a timely manner that serves the interests of all stakeholders," it continues.
Yahoo, which owns 43 percent of Alibaba Group, has complained that it was not notified of the decision to split off Alipay into a separate entity controlled by Alibaba CEO Jack Ma.
Ma has defended the move saying splitting Alipay off was done to secure a license from China's central bank, and without the decision being taken, Alipay and even Alibaba could have been "paralyzed."
The central bank last September issued a requirement that all payment-services companies in the country must obtain a license, which can only be granted to Chinese-owned entities.
Ma also insisted that Alibaba's stakeholders including Yahoo and Softbank were informed of the transfer of ownership early on.