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Yahoo Pulls Out of China, Ending Tumultuous Two-Decade Relationship

Yahoo Inc. has stated that it will cease to offer its services in China starting on November 1, citing an increasingly challenging business and legal environment. This marks the latest foreign company to be caught up in Beijing’s strict rules for businesses. Yahoo has become the second well-known US technology firm to halt operations in China. Earlier this fall, Microsoft closed its LinkedIn social-networking site offerings in the country. Yahoo’s pullout coincided with the implementation of China’s Personal Information Protection Law, regulations that will curb data collection by technology companies. Yahoo did not directly refer to the law in its statements.

Yahoo’s China departure may have been largely symbolic, as the company had already begun shutting down main services such as email, news, and community services starting in 2013. However, the exit is still a reminder to other businesses of the increasing challenges foreign countries face when operating in China, including geopolitical tensions and privacy regulation. On Tuesday, Chinese internet users browsing websites run by Yahoo such as AOL.com, and media outlets such as TechCrunch were told that Yahoo’s services will no longer be accessible to them.

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