Yahoo China which was operated by Alibaba Group, a Chinese e-commerce and Internet services, has just closed its Web portal.
The good-bye message displayed on the website redirects indeed visitors to now.taobao.com and explains that the decision to shut down Yahoo China’s portal complies with the 2012 agreement made between Alibaba Group and Yahoo!.
The closing of Yahoo China’s portal comes two weeks after Yahoo’s email service in China shutdown, with users asked to transfer their accounts to Alibaba’s Alimail. In January, Yahoo China ceased its Chinese music service, explaining that the company was adapting its product strategy.
Indeed in 2005, Yahoo paid $1 billion for a 40% stake in Alibaba, before the company becomes one of China’s key assets in its booming e-commerce market. Then in 2012 the deal signed between Yahoo and Alibaba Group refers to the later to go on operating Yahoo China’s brand for a maximum of four years. Alibaba Group’s decision to gradually cease operating its Yahoo-branded properties is an example of the difficulties experienced by U.S. major Internet companies, such as Google, eBay and Amazon in China. This can be explained by the vast government censorship, but also by the failure to localize effectively and the kick-off of some Chinese companies such as Baidu and Tencent.
Yahoo! still owns a 24% stake in the Chinese company, which is expected to go public by 2015 and is estimated to be worth around $14 billion.
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