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Yahoo Withdraws from China amid ‘Challenging’ Business Environment

A Yahoo logo in front of a building in Rolle, Switzerland, December 12, 2012 (Denis Balibouse/Reuters)

Yahoo Inc. announced on Tuesday that the company would withdraw all services from China, blaming a “challenging” business climate for the move.

“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,” a Yahoo spokesperson said in a statement. “Yahoo remains committed to the rights of our users and a free and open internet. We thank our users for their support.”

Yahoo withdrew amid implementation of a strict data privacy law in China, which limits the user information companies are allowed to gather and sets standards for how that information is stored.

Other sites run by Yahoo including AOL.com were similarly taken offline. The company had already begun reducing services in 2013, shutting its email and news services.

The withdrawal comes about a month after LinkedIn closed the local version of its website in China. That company, which is owned by Microsoft, will establish a job portal called InJobs that does not include the ability to share articles or posts.

“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,” LinkedIn senior vice president of engineering Mohak Shroff said. “We’re also facing a significantly more challenging operating environment and greater compliance requirements in China.”

LinkedIn’s decision to withdraw from China came after the company blocked the profiles of certain American journalists who have criticized Beijing in their work.

“While we strongly support freedom of expression, we recognized when we launched that we would need to adhere to the requirements of the Chinese government in order to operate in China,” LinkedIn told affected users at the time, according to Business Insider.

Send a tip to the news team at NR.

Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

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