HONG KONG (AP) – Yahoo Inc. said Tuesday it withdrew its services from China, citing an “increasingly challenging business and legal environment.”
The company said in a statement that its services were no longer accessible from mainland China as of November 1.
“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,” the statement read.
The company’s withdrawal coincided with the entry into force of China’s Personal Information Protection Law on November 1, which limits the information companies can collect and sets standards for how it should be stored.
The Chinese authorities maintain a firm grip on internet censorship in the country and require companies operating in China to censor content and keywords that are deemed politically sensitive or inappropriate.
Yahoo added that it “remains committed to the rights of our users and to a free and open Internet.”
Yahoo had previously downsized its operations in China and closed its Beijing office in 2015. His withdrawal from the country is largely symbolic, as at least some of Yahoo’s services, including its web portal, have already been blocked.
China has also blocked most social media sites and international search engines, such as Facebook and Google. Users in China who wish to access these services bypass the blockade by using a virtual private network (VPN).
Yahoo also previously operated music and email service in China, but both services also stopped in the early 2010s.
Yahoo is the second major American tech company in recent weeks to downsize its operations in China.
Last month, Microsoft’s professional networking platform LinkedIn said it would shut down its Chinese site and replace it with a job board.