Yahoo has stopped providing news and community services in China over the weekend, as spotted by Chinese newspaper Global Times, hot on the heels of Yahoo officially shuttering its email service in the country last month.
These moves seem to hint at Yahoo’s official shutdown of its operations in China, especially as Yahoo China’s website simply displays a farewell post and then redirects users to now.taobao.com, a public welfare website run by Alibaba— the e-commerce group that Yahoo has a lucrative stake in.
However, in the post, Yahoo merely says that it is “adjusting its operations” due to an agreement with Alibaba. In 2012, Yahoo agreed to sell a significant part of its 20 percent stake in Alibaba back to the Chinese company, and clarified that the amendment would result in Yahoo granting Alibaba a transitional license to continue to operate Yahoo China under the Yahoo brand for up to four years.
It isn’t clear what will be next for Yahoo China, given that it is now an empty shell — though another earlier report from Global Times says that Yahoo China will focus its resources on projects with a charity focus in cooperation with now.taobao.com. The team in charge of running Yahoo China will be relocated to Alibaba’s public welfare operations.
Yahoo already exited South Korea last year, but given that its services in China are run by Alibaba, this probably does not mean Yahoo is pulling out of China for good. However, its moves hint strongly at the fact that Yahoo China’s operations could possibly be folded into Alibaba.
We have reached out to Yahoo for comment and will update further if there is any response provided.
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