Yahoo, the American web service provider, has announced its exit from the Chinese market, the latest foreign technology company to do so in response to Beijing's tightening grip on the nation’s tech industry.
According to the company, Yahoo's range of services will not be obtainable in mainland China from November 1, citing the ‘increasingly tough commercial and regulatory structure in China’. Aol.com as well as TechCrunch, a news outlet, are the products affected by the decision.
The withdrawal was done in conjunction with the start of China's new data protection regulation, which took effect on Monday. Some compared the regulation, which had been in the works for years, to China's version of Europe's strict GDPR.
The law restricts the circumstances under which businesses can collect personal information and establishes guidelines for its usage. Chinese guidelines also entail companies working in the country to hand over data whenever authorities want it, making it harder for multinational corporations to do business in China because they may face domestic disapproval if they comply with the Chinese government’s demands.
Foreign IT businesses have been advising their users of recent modifications in their services in the months leading up to the adoption of the new regulations.
Yahoo's decision was taken just about a month after Microsoft's professional networking site LinkedIn said it was closing its Chinese operations. The corporation blamed a ‘much more difficult operating environment’ and ‘higher compliance obligations in China’ in public.
In mainland China, Yahoo seems to have had a difficult and contentious existence. In 2007, politicians in the United States chastised the business for handing over information on two Chinese activists to the government, which effectively led to their detention and imprisonment.
According to analysts, Yahoo's exit from China is mostly symbolic, as at least much of its operations, notably its web portal, have been already prohibited. Other US internet services, namely Facebook and Google, have also been restricted by China. Users on the mainland who want to use these sites must utilize a virtual private network (VPN) to get past the restrictions.