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Yahoo pulls out of China due to 'challenging' environment

The company says it's committed to a free and open internet.

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Angela Lang/CNET

Yahoo on Tuesday said it's pulled its operations out of China due to an "increasingly challenging" business and legal environment. 

"Yahoo's suite of services will no longer be accessible from mainland China as of Nov. 1," said a spokesperson for the company. "Yahoo remains committed to the rights of [its] users and a free and open internet."

China is well known for its internet censorship and surveillance practices, blocking access to websites and online services like Facebook, Google, Twitter, and Instagram. Internet users in China often turn to virtual private networks to bypass the blocks and access those sites. 

Companies operating within the country are also subject to laws that oblige them to hand over data at the request of authorities.  

Yahoo's total exit from China today follows a gradual downsizing of operations within the country in recent years. In 2015, the company closed its offices in Beijing and discontinued its music and email services in the country a few years prior. 

The move also coincides with China's Personal Information Protection Law going into effect. The law establishes rules for how data is collected and used by entities operating in the country.