Yahoo’s China arm will shut down its email service later this year, state media reported Friday, illustrating the brand’s diminishing profile in the country.
China Yahoo! announced it will close its email service by August 19, a move the China Daily said will leave it with just its web portal business.
Users of the service were informed that they must register with AliCloud, a unit of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, to prevent emails and other information from being deleted when Yahoo’s mail service stops.
China Yahoo! has been operated by Alibaba since 2005, the paper said.
The US Internet giant Yahoo! has come under criticism in the past over its business in China, with executives apologizing in 2007 for providing evidence that Chinese authorities used to convict government critics.
The company said it was legally obliged to divulge information about its users to the Chinese government but that it was unaware it would be used to convict dissidents.
The end of the service will affect millions of users, the paper quoted Alibaba public relations official Zhang Jianhua as saying, though he did not have a total figure.