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Yahoo announces its exit from China, cites 'challenging business, legal environment'

In a statement, Yahoo claimed that effective November 1, its suite of services would no longer be available from mainland China due to the increasingly difficult economic and regulatory climate in China. It stated that it is still devoted to its users' rights and free and open internet.

Yahoo announces its exit from China, cites 'challenging business, legal environment' gcw
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Beijing, First Published Nov 3, 2021, 9:34 AM IST
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Yahoo Inc. announced its exit from China on Tuesday, citing an "increasingly hostile economic and regulatory climate." Chinese authorities retain tight control over internet censorship in the nation, requiring enterprises doing business in China to block content and phrases deemed politically sensitive or unsuitable. In a statement, Yahoo claimed that effective November 1, its suite of services would no longer be available from mainland China due to the increasingly difficult economic and regulatory climate in China. It stated that it is still devoted to its users' rights and free and open internet.

The company's exit coincided with the introduction of China's Personal Information Protection Law, which limits the types of information that corporations may collect and establishes rules for how it must be handled. Chinese rules also require corporations operating in the nation to pass over data if requested by authorities, making it harder for Western enterprises to work in China because they may face domestic criticism for complying with China's requests. Yahoo was chastised by US senators in 2007 when it gave over data on two Chinese dissidents to Beijing, resulting in their incarceration.

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Yahoo's exit from the nation is primarily symbolic, as at least some of its services, notably its website, have already been disabled. China has also restricted most international social media platforms and search engines, including Facebook and Google. Users in China who want to access these services can utilise a virtual private network to get around the restriction. Verizon Communications Inc. purchased Yahoo in 2017 and combined it with AOL, but then sold the corporation for USD 5 billion to private equity firm Apollo Global Management. Apollo announced the completion of its acquisition of Yahoo in September.

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