Yahoo Pulls The Plug On China

Yahoo announced this morning that they were joining LinkedIn in pulling out of China. An AP report details why:

“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 company said in a statement.

It said it “remains committed to the rights of our users and a free and open internet.”

The company’s withdrawal coincided with the implementation of China’s Personal Information Protection Law, which limits what information companies can gather and sets standards for how it must be stored.

Chinese laws also stipulate that companies operating in the country must hand over data if requested by authorities, making it difficult for Western firms to operate in China as they may also face pressure back home over giving in to China’s demands.

Now, while Yahoo hasn’t been known for standing up for human rights seeing as they have handed over data related to Chinese dissidents in the past, it’s an interesting move and I now expect a domino effect of western companies leaving the country. Stay tuned to this space as I expect these announcements to become more frequent.

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