On Tuesday, Yahoo announced that it had pulled out from China. It said that the operating environment had become increasingly challenging and so the tech company left the country. The move has been seen as more as a symbolic one as the government had already blocked many of Yahoo’s operations in China. The Chinese government has been expanding its control on domestic tech giants as well as international ones.
Google had long given up operating in China. It was one of the first U.S. tech giants to leave the country several years ago. Last month, Microsoft said that it would be closing down its LinkedIn platform in China. The professional networking platform will no longer operate in the country and it will be replaced by a jobs board site.
Although the Chinese market is a huge one, tech companies have been shuttering from a while as the government insists that they have to censor content. Certain keywords that are considered to be politically sensitive or not appropriate also have to be blocked.
Chinese companies have created their own internet platforms in the country. China replaced both Google and Yahoo with its domestic search engine Baidu. Social media platforms that are popular in China include WeChat and Weibo.
Yahoo had faced criticism in 2007 by U.S. lawmakers. As per the government request, it had handed over information about two Chinese dissidents. Both of them were imprisoned by Beijing. It had downsized its music and email services around 2010 and had closed down its Beijing office in 2015. One of the few sites that continued to operate in China—Engadget China showed a popup on Tuesday which said that the tech site has stopped publishing content.
Recent regulatory changes brought about by Beijing , with stricter rules being imposed on media and more, seek to cut the power of domestic tech companies. In this milieu, Yahoo, which had more of a symbolic rather than a commercial presence in recent years, decided that it was a time for total withdrawal from China.