Yahoo and Fortnite leave China as the ‘challenging’ environment drives western tech companies out

Yahoo has closed its services to users in China, making it the third Western technology brand to leave the country in the past few weeks. The …

Yahoo has closed its services to users in China, making it the third Western technology brand to leave the country in the past few weeks.

The company discontinued content delivery to users in mainland China on Jan.

“Yahoo continues to stand up for the rights of our users and a free and open Internet. We thank our users for their support,” said a Yahoo spokesman on Tuesday the Reuters news agency.

Not that epic

Yahoo’s announcement comes after Epic Games, the studio behind the free online shooter Fortnite, announced it would pull the game out of China on Sunday.

Part-owned by Chinese internet giant Tencent, Epic said it will shut down the servers hosting a beta test version of the popular game, available only for China, on November 15.

In August, the Chinese government announced new restrictions on video games for under-18s, restricting them to just three hours of online gaming per week.

“Thank you to all Fortnite China players who drove the Battle Bus with us by participating in the beta,” the company said in a statement.

Last social platform standing

Yahoo’s move also follows that of Linkedin, which was pulled out of China by owner Microsoft last month.

Microsoft’s decision marked the retreat of the last major US-owned social network in China.

The company said the “more challenging operating environment and greater compliance requirements in China” had contributed to the move.

Yahoo had already greatly scaled back its presence in China over the past few years. Before Monday’s closure, it still operated a weather app and some pages that showed news articles in foreign languages.

Yahoo users in China were greeted with a message announcing the closure on Monday

Yahoo entered China in 1998 and in 2012 struck a deal with Alibaba Group to sell its stake in the e-commerce giant. The deal also saw Alibaba obtain the right to operate Yahoo China under the Yahoo brand for up to four years.

Yahoo China later shut its email service and web portal but the brand retained a global research and development center in Beijing until 2015, when it was shut down.

Its departure comes as Beijing has imposed fresh curbs on its internet companies on areas from content to customer privacy as well as new laws.

On Monday, its new Personal Information Protection law designed to protect online user data privacy came into effect.

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