Yahoo Closes Its China Office
In what it calls a major “cost cutting measure,” search engine Yahoo will shutter its research center operations in China. The Center is the California-based company’s only office that remained open in China after it sold its operations there to Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba in 2005.
Yahoo stopped offering services to users in China in 2013. That year, it instructed its email users to transfer their accounts to Alimail, an email service offered by Alibaba. Earlier this year, Yahoo said it would spin off the company’s stake in Alibaba, which is valued at more than $30 billion. The Beijing office’s responsibilities will be shifted to other unnamed Yahoo offices, according to a company statement.
Yahoo has had no end to difficulty in remaining competitive in the Chinese web-based information market.
China’s internet market balances on mobile devices, a development that also attracts less advertising revenue for Yahoo. Not only has the firm had to battle with home-grown, well-funded competitors—it was also entangled in controversy when the Chinese government requested information on the personal account data of Chinese dissidents.
Yahoo is part of an ongoing trend of U.S. technology companies reducing or shutting down operations. The company cut 1 percent of its total workforce in January, including editorial staff in China and employee reductions in Canada, Jordan and India. The layoffs in China represent about 2 percent of Yahoo’s global staff of 12,500.
Last month, game company Zynga Inc. closed its Beijing office and Microsoft announced it would shutter some phone assembly factories in Vietnam and consolidate operations at several others.
As of today, the Chinese address for Yahoo’s home page, Yahoo.cn, redirects visitors to its Singapore site.