US company Yahoo suspends all online services from China; cites a “difficult environment”

Marking its final withdrawal from the world’s second-largest economy, US internet company Yahoo suspended all remaining online services in China on Monday, November 1. Yahoo’s full exit from the mainland came just weeks after Microsoft Corp’s LinkedIn announced it was exiting China. According to AP, Yahoo Inc. said Tuesday, November 2, that it was withdrawing from China due to “an increasingly difficult business and legal environment.” The company also revealed in a statement that its services will no longer be accessible from China.

“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 statement said. He added that Yahoo “remains committed to the rights of our users and to a free and open Internet”.

Yahoo’s withdrawal from the Asian country was announced at the same time that China’s personal information protection law also came into effect on Monday, November 1. Chinese law limits the information businesses can collect and sets rules for how it should be stored. It is relevant to note that Yahoo had already significantly reduced its operations in China.

In 2015, a US-based company even closed its office in the Chinese capital, Beijing. The complete withdrawal from the company, according to AP, is largely symbolic because at least some of Yahoo’s services, including its web portal, were already blocked. Yahoo’s pullout came as Chinese authorities continue to escalate their crackdown on internet censorship across the country. Mainland authorities are also demanding that companies operating in China censor content and keywords deemed politically sensitive or inappropriate.

China has blocked most international social media sites

China has reportedly already blocked most international social media sites as well as search engines, including Facebook and Google. In an attempt to use banned social media services, users in China bypass the block by using a virtual private network (VPN).

Prior to its full withdrawal, Yahoo operated music and email services in China. However, these services were suspended in the early 2010s. Meanwhile, the withdrawal coincides with the growing deterioration of relations between the United States and China, and Yahoo is the second-largest technology company in Washington to abandon its operations. Beijing after LinkedIn. The Microsoft Corp company has replaced its Chinese site with a job site.

(IMAGE: Shutterstock)

(With AP inputs)


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Veronica J. Snell

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