Tuesday, Yahoo said it was pulling out of China, citing "an increasingly challenging business and legal environment in the country". It is the second major US technology company to announce recently that it will pull out of the Chinese market and join LinkedIn, Microsoft's social network.
Mainland China will not access its services from November 1, the company said in a statement. "Due to the increasingly challenging business and legal environment in China, Yahoo's services will no longer be available in mainland China as of November 1," the statement said.
The statement also said Yahoo "remains committed to the rights of our users and a free and open Internet." The company's withdrawal will take effect with China's Personal Information Protection Law on November 1. The Personal Information Protection Act limits what information companies can collect and sets standards for how they must store it.
Yahoo has previously scaled back its operations in China and closed its Beijing office in 2015. Yahoo's withdrawal from China is symbolic because its services, including its web portal, are already blocked.
Yahoo is owned by private equity firm Apollo Global Management, which bought the leading Internet platform and AOL from Verizon earlier this year for $5 billion. China also blocks most international social media sites and search engines, such as Facebook and Google. Chinese users who want to access these services can use virtual private networks to circumvent the blockade.
Yahoo also operated music and email services in China, but those, too, were shut down in the early 2010s.
Beijing censors web content. Chinese authorities tightly control the country's Internet censorship system and require companies operating in China to censor content and keywords deemed politically sensitive or inappropriate. In October, Linkedin said it would shut down its Chinese site and replace it with a jobs section. In May, China's Internet regulator said it had found that the service, along with Microsoft's Bing search engine and about 100 other apps, had engaged in the improper collection and use of data and ordered them to fix the problem.
Other tech giants have also scaled back their operations in China, including Google, which pulled out of the country in 2010.
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