Yahoo is the latest US company to unplug China, here’s why


Top line

Yahoo is the second US tech giant in weeks to pull out of China, symbolically ending services in the world’s second-largest economy after years of shutdown because an “increasingly difficult commercial and legal environment”.


Yahoo services were no longer available in mainland China as of Nov. 1, according to a company statement.

The company’s operations had already been reduced in 2015, after the closure of its Beijing office and sacked hundreds of staff.

Prior to that, Yahoo China’s web portal, messaging and music services operated by Alibaba were firm between 2012 and 2013.

Yahoo’s withdrawal follows the departure of Microsoft-owned LinkedIn from China in October due to a “considerably more difficult operating environment.”

Key context

Yahoo’s presence in China had been waning for years. The company purchased a 40% stake in Chinese e-commerce titan Alibaba in 2005, which it began toell back in 2012. Tech giants such as Google, Facebook and Reddit and many international news sites have long been banned in China as a result of radical censorship known as the “Great Firewall”. Meanwhile, Yahoo Finance’s app was reportedly pulled from China’s app store last month, shutting users down to a key foreign news source, the Telegraph reports. He would have followed the site repost a Bloomberg report on the technological crackdown in China. Yahoo was once the dominant player in web search but has struggled to maintain its status, having been sold to Verizon in 2017 and then to hedge fund Apollo earlier this year.


Last month, the job platform LinkedIn pulled out of China after seven years for similar reasons. the Wall Street newspaper said it was the latest main social media platform for leaving the country. It follows LinkedIn’s decision to block the accounts of American journalists on its Chinese platform, comply with requests from China to censor the content.

Crucial quote

“Given the increasingly difficult business and legal environment in China, Yahoo’s suite of services will no longer be accessible from mainland China as of November 1,” the company said in a statement shared with Forbes. “Yahoo remains committed to the rights of our users and to a free and open Internet. We thank our users for their support. “

Further reading

Yahoo withdraws from China amid “difficult” environment (Washington Post)


Comments are closed.