Yahoo stops offering services in China

Yahoo stops offering services in China

Yahoo ceases offering its services in the Chinese market. That says a spokesperson too, among others, the Reuters news agency. According to the tech company, the reason is the “increasingly challenging business and legal environment” in China. Yahoo also says it will continue to work for the rights of its users, and for “a free and open internet.”

Privacy law in China

The company writes in a statement that it will no longer offer content to users in mainland China since November 1. Users in the country will be notified that the service is no longer available. The tech websites  TechCrunch and  Engadget are also no longer accessible in China. Yahoo owns these sites.

Yahoo won’t elaborate on the reasons for the decision, but the departure will coincide with the entry into force of the new privacy law in China. The so-called Personal Information Protection Law was passed in August and went into effect on November 1. The law imposes stricter rules on tech companies and is seen as a government tool to regulate the tech sector in the country.

Under the new law, companies must obtain explicit consent from individuals before collecting personal data. They are also required to set out data protection guidelines before sending personal data abroad. In addition, companies must appoint an employee responsible for protecting personal information.

Tech companies themselves must check compliance with the law through periodic checks. Violations will result in heavy fines of up to 50 million renminbi (about 6.8 million euros) or five per cent of the annual turnover of the previous year.

Yahoo has been less present in China for some time

Yahoo, which entered China in 1998, has already scaled down its presence in the country in recent years. For example, the Chinese version of the company’s e-mail service ceased to exist in 2013. The web portal was also no longer accessible. Two years later, Yahoo closed its research centre in Beijing. There was still a variant of Engadget and a weather app available in China.

With the decision to no longer offer its services in China, Yahoo is succeeding several other companies. Earlier, Epic Games, the founder of  Fortnite, announced that it will shut down its servers from November 15 and will no longer register new users since Monday. Microsoft Corp. pulled the plug on LinkedIn in China last month. Microsoft was the last major US social network in China.

China is known for its strict regulation of the internet. The  Great Firewall has been keeping several companies out of the country for some time.

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