Games / News and Technology / Sport / Technology · April 14, 2021 0

Yahoo leaves China for good, citing ‘challenging’

Yahoo said it has pulled its services from China, citing an “increasingly challenging” operating environment.

Key points:
The move comes a few weeks after Microsoft pulled LinkedIn from China
China has replaced departing Western internet companies with its own search engines and social media platforms
Yahoo had greatly scaled back its presence in China over the past few years
The company is the second Western tech brand to quit the country in recent weeks.

“In recognition of the increasingly challenging 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.

Last month, Microsoft pulled the plug on LinkedIn in China, marking the retreat of the last major US-owned social network in China.

LinkedIn cited a “more challenging operating environment and greater compliance requirements in China”.

The departures illustrate the choices internet companies face in a huge potential market, but one where the government requires them to censor content and keywords deemed politically sensitive or inappropriate.

In their place, Chinese companies have filled the void, creating an alternative internet with its own digital giants.

The Baidu search engine has largely replaced Yahoo and Google in China, and WeChat and Weibo are the leading social media platforms.

A woman walks past a Yahoo billboard in a subway.
China’s government requires internet companies to censor content deemed politically sensitive or inappropriate.(AP)
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Yahoo had already greatly scaled back its presence in China over the past few years.

Prior to Monday, it had still operated a weather app and some pages that showed news articles in foreign languages.

Yahoo entered China in 1998 and in 2012 struck a deal with Alibaba Group to sell its stake in the e-commerce giant.

The deal also saw Alibaba obtain the right to operate Yahoo China under the Yahoo brand for up to four years.

Yahoo China later shut its email service and web portal but the brand retained a global research and development centre in Beijing until 2015, when it was shut down.