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Yahoo to Exit China, Cites Challenging Legal Environment

Yahoo will exit its operations in China, citing an increasingly challenging business and legal environment.

Yahoo on Tuesday said it has shut down access to its services in China, becoming the latest U.S. tech company to exit the country after Microsoft  (MSFT) - Get Microsoft Corporation Report shutdown its LinkedIn service.

“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 Nov. 1,” the company said in a statement cited in a report by the Associated Press.

Yahoo is owned and operated by New York private equity firm Apollo Global Management  (APO) - Get Apollo Global Management Inc. Class A Report. It was recently bought by Apollo Global Management from Verizon  (VZ) - Get Verizon Communications Inc. Report as part of a $5 billion deal.

Access to many of Yahoo's features in China have disappeared since 2013, including email and news. In 2015, Yahoo closed its Beijing office and eliminated roughly 300 jobs.

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On Oct. 14, professional networking site LinkedIn shut its local version in China, marking the end of the last major American social-media network operating openly in the country.

The company launched LinkedIn in China in February 2014, but Microsoft says it faces a more challenging operating environment due to greater compliance requirements in China.

"Given this, we’ve made the decision to sunset the current localized version of LinkedIn, which is how people in China access LinkedIn’s global social media platform, later this year," Mohak Shroff, LinkedIn senior vice president of engineering, had said.

Last month, Real Money columnist Alex Frew McMillan said LinkedIn didn't want to risk its big cloud computing and software business in China over censorship traps that its social media jobs site faces.