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Yahoo pulls plug on services in China: Report

Headlines 16:11 03 Nov, 2021

Global tech giant Yahoo has pulled the plug on its services from China, blaming "increasingly challenging" operating environment

Yahoo pulls plug on services in China: Report

Global tech giant Yahoo has pulled the plug on its services from China, blaming "increasingly challenging" operating environment.

"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, according to Wall Street Journal.

The company added it "remains committed to the rights of our users and a free and open internet".

The move by Yahoo follows Microsoft last month announcing it was shutting down LinkedIn in China. It too cited challenges of keeping up with the country's compliance demand for its reason for leaving the market.

"While we've found success in helping Chinese members find jobs and economic opportunity, we have not found that same level of success in the more social aspects of sharing and staying informed," said LinkedIn senior vice president of engineering Mohak Shroff, in a company blog post.

"We're also facing a significantly more challenging operating environment and greater compliance requirements in China," wrote Shroff. "Given this, we've made the decision to sunset the current localized version of LinkedIn, which is how people in China access LinkedIn's global social media platform later this year."

This, however, is not the first attempt by Yahoo to leave China. Over the years, it has been slowly pulling out services, such as its email services and its Beijing research and development centre.

The departures from China comes as the country reportedly warned local companies in July it would tighten oversight of data security.

The country's Personal Information Protection Law (PIPL) came into effect on Monday. It lays out ground rules around how data is collected, used, and stored. It also outlines data processing requirements for companies based outside of China, including passing a security assessment conducted by state authorities. 

Multinational corporations that move personal information out of the country also will have to obtain certification on data protection from professional institutions, according to the PIPL

The PIPL also applies to foreign organisations that process personal data overseas for the purpose of, amongst others, providing products and services to Chinese consumers as well as analysing the behaviours of Chinese consumers. 

The Chinese government previously said the new law was necessary to address the "chaos" data had created, with online platforms over-collecting personal data.