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China's biggest Internet deal needed just one good banker

MR FAN: "Our role is as a middleman, as a moderator . . . and sometimes it's as a judge. The banker's role is less to negotiate a great deal for one side, than it is making sure the deal gets done."

Hong Kong

THIS week's US$15 billion merger of two Chinese startups stood out for a number of reasons. It's the largest-ever combination in the nation's Internet industry, it forms a dominant player in the booming local services market - and just one bank brokered the deal.