By  on May 1, 2013

SHANGHAI — Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba’s recent acquisition of a minority stake in microblogging service Weibo could forge a new model for social commerce in the country, the world’s second-largest online shopping market behind the U.S.

Alibaba, which owns and, two of China’s largest e-commerce Web sites, said earlier this week that it is buying an 18 percent stake in Sina Corp.’s Weibo, considered China’s answer to Twitter, for $586 million in stock. Alibaba has the option to raise its stake to 30 percent.

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