Yahoo shuts down e-mail service in China

Steven Loeb · August 19, 2013 · Short URL:

Yahoo still investing in China, recently bought Beijing-based social data analytics platform Ztelic

If you're a Yahoo user in China, and you really love Yahoo Mail, well... sorry yo break it to you, but you're basically out of luck, my friend.

As expected, Yahoo shut down its e-mail service in the country this past weekend, it was reported by TechInAsia on Monday.

The reason for the shut down has to do with the fact that Yahoo China is run by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba. Alibaba runs its own e-mail service called Aliyun, and it is apparently attempting to push all of the Yahoo Mail clients onto its service instead. There is also some speculation that the service simply was not widely used enough to justify putting resources into it. 

Yahoo had previously announced that it would be shut down back in April, giving users four months to migrate to another e-mail service. Users that register a new Aliyun mail account can have their Yahoo Mail forwarded to their new address until the end of this year.

This is not the first time that Yahoo has shut down services in China.

Back in January, Yahoo shut down its Chinese music service, saying that it was "an adjustment to our product strategy.

Yahoo also has gone about reducing some of its stake in Alibaba. Yahoo sold back half of its 40% stake in the Chinese e-commerce company this past September, for a total of $7.6 billion. Of course, Yahoo still owns a sizable amount of the company’s stock, around 23%. Alibaba is expected to have an IPO in the next year or two, will should net Yahoo a whole lot of money.

The two companies are certainly not giving up their relationship any time soon. In December, Jacqueline Reses, executive vice president of people and development at Yahoo, joined the board at Alibaba.

So, despite these moves, nobody should be confused and think that Yahoo is giving up on China altoether. Its not like Yahoo is putting all of its eggs in one basket when it comes to the country, either. 

Yahoo also recently made another investment in China, buying up Beijing-based social data analytics platform Ztelic in July. The company was founded by Hao Zheng, who spent nearly 10 years working as an architect at Yahoo. 

As the move was an acqui-hire for Yahoo, Ztelic is shutting down its product offering as a result of the acquisition.

VatorNews has reached out to Yahoo to learn more about the shut down of its e-mail services in China, but the company was not available for further comment. We will update if we learn more. 

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