Yahoo shuts down entirely in China, citing 'increasingly challenging' environment

The company had previously downsized its Chinese operations

Updated: November 2, 2021 - 8:24am

Yahoo Inc. announced Tuesday that it has pulled its services from China, saying that the environment had become "increasingly challenging" from a "business and legal" standpoint.

All Yahoo services became unavailable to anyone on mainland China on Nov 1.

"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," read a statement from the company. 

The Chinese government requiring companies to censor content and language it deems to be politically sensitive or otherwise inappropriate. In its statement, Yahoo noted that it "remains committed to the rights of our users and a free and open internet."

The company's shuttering in China coincides with a new Chinese law – the Personal Information Protection Law – going into effect. The legislation puts a tighter leash on the sorts of information companies can gather and establishes parameters for how it must be stored. 

In 2015, Yahoo closed its Beijing office. Most of the company's internet services have already been blocked in China, in addition to popular international sites like Facebook and Google, which can only be accessed in China by using a VPN or "virtual private network." 

Yahoo's announcement follows that of professional networking platform LinkedIn (which is owned by Microsoft), which closed down its Chinese site last month.