• US technology company Yahoo has stopped its services in China from November 1, 2021
• This decision by Yahoo is in line with its commitment for rights of users and a free & open internet.
• Yahoo’s departure from China coincides with the implementation of Personal Information Protection law in the country.
Censorship in China
It is a truism that Chinese authorities maintain a sharp grip on internet censorship. The Chinese law requires companies operating in China to censor content and keywords that are deemed politically sensitive or inappropriate, including references to the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre.
Yahoo’s withdrawal comes on the heels of China’s Personal Information Protection Law, which limits what information companies can gather and sets standards for how it must be stored.
Under Chinese laws, foreign companies operating in the country must also hand over data to authorities upon request.
In 2007, Yahoo was criticized by lawmakers after it handed over data on two Chinese dissidents to Beijing, eventually leading to their imprisonment. In 2013, Yahoo had downsized its operations in China by shut down its Chinese mail service. In the year 2015, it closed its Beijing office.
Yahoo departure from China is largely symbolic because many of the US tech company’s services & its web portal were already blocked since 2013.
Microsoft withdraws LinkedIn
Yahoo joins other US companies to curb operations in China. Last month, Microsoft pulled the plug on the Chinese version of LinkedIn. Google’s services have not been available in China for several years. Social networking sites, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as well as the Wikipedia are blocked in the country.
Epic Games has announced the end of the Chinese version of hit video game “Fortnite”.