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Yahoo! China Communications

Yahoo Is Going To Stop Email Service In China 70

An anonymous reader writes with news that Yahoo will be ending their email service in China on August 13th. A support post on the Yahoo China site tells users how to migrate their account to a different email service called Aliyun. If they do so, their data can be migrated and they will continue to receive emails to their Yahoo address until the end of 2014. From the article: "The US Internet giant Yahoo! has come under criticism in the past over its business in China, with executives apologising 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." Yahoo also announced the closure of six other products today: Upcoming, Deals, SMS Alerts, Kids, Mail and Messenger feature phone apps, and older versions of Mail.
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Yahoo Is Going To Stop Email Service In China

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  • Dissidents (Score:2, Insightful)

    Now Yahoo will be stuck giving information to the US government on US dissidents.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Synerg1y ( 2169962 )

      people still use yahoo?

      • Just like an old phone number you keep so people can contact you, I have a email id from a long back. I had a positive experience with their customer service this past week. used to be a good place to buy and host domains from, but about a decade ago, they made their domains 4x the price of other hosting companies... So I switched back then. But all in all I'm pleased with yahoo. My friend and I joke about FPY(Front Page Yahoo), on how their news items are normally bizarre or barely
        • Interesting, I haven't been to FPY recently. It does seem like they're restructuring though to give people a reason to use them. Gmail could really use some competition.

      • by kwerle ( 39371 )

        My sister does. She's had the account since before gmail existed. Why change?

        I mean -- I would. But...

        • I remember back then... I switched to gmail because of the massively increased storage. It was massive enough to become a very rough "google drive" a decade before google drive came out.

      • by Kjella ( 173770 )

        people still use yahoo?

        I do... it's older than my Slashdot account :p

        • by Zemran ( 3101 )

          You have an old /. account? I have an old Yahoo account that I still use as a throwaway account that never seems to get thrown away. It is a good spam bucket :-)

          • by ciurana ( 2603 )


            Kids these days...

            Have a nice weekend!

          • by Clsid ( 564627 )

            Haha, I have exactly the same setup and I am in China. But my Yahoo account is US based so it won't really make a difference to me. To be honest I have never seen people here with a Chinese Yahoo account.

      • I sure do, their E-Mail, to me, is better than Hotmail. Not to mention I use their messenger service with Kopete and Gyache, because I use Linux, to contact friends and family in the Philippines etc. I do NOT (will not) use Skype, ever. I mean really, we're not talking about AOL here.

      • I do. Their interface isn't too bad and the spam filter is accurate enough to sort out most garbage messages. I've had my account for over a decade and don't see much of a reason to change because they keep it up to date. Sure, Outlook is more elegant in its interface and Gmail is more robust in its features, but Yahoo Mail gets the job done just as well.
      • I occasionally have to use it to get a password reset email because I used it to register for some site years ago...
      • by TAZ6416 ( 584004 )
        Yes, I still use my Rocketmail address that I got in 1996 as my primary email. As I got it so early it's my surname/first intial so easy to remember and to tell people.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I'm no apologist for the government, but the US still has greater protection of free speech than any other country.
      In these days of scummy behavior by the people who are supposed to work for us and defend our freedoms, this is one thing I'm truly proud of.

      • by Clsid ( 564627 )

        Free speech I grant you, but I recently moved to China and I have to tell you than other than the stupid internet firewall, I feel a lot more free here in China than I did in the US. I feel you have more opportunities here to get a good education, cool job (especially as a foreigner). If I get sick is not going to cost me an arm and a leg and other than dealing with the language, the Chinese treat foreigners very well.

    • Re:Dissidents (Score:4, Interesting)

      by poity ( 465672 ) on Friday April 19, 2013 @06:30PM (#43499067)

      A Chinese dissident imprisoned for 10 years for subversion, whose conviction was supported by evidence from Yahoo, was released early on Friday after completing his term, his wife said. [..] Wang was detained in September 2002 and later sentenced for "incitement to subvert state power", a vaguely defined charge used frequently to punish political critics. Wang distributed pro-democracy writings by email and through Yahoo groups.

      Find a comparable case in the US.

      • The problem with the US is that it has by far the highest incarceration rate in the world. While there may or may not be a directly comparable case the entire legal structure routinely delivers radically out of balance punishments for minor crimes.

        In 1970 there were perhaps 200,000 people in US prisons. Today the number has reached an extraordinary 2.5 million.

        During this period the number of inmates convicted of violent crime decreased. Estimates are that less than 8% of the population are in for violent c

        • by Zemran ( 3101 )

          In the US you can end up in jail for crossing the road in the wrong place but in China you have to try and bring down the government.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          China executes prisoners regularly to balance out their prison population.

          Some US laws may be dumb, but using prison population as a comparison to China is just silly.

          • > China executes prisoners regularly to balance out their prison population.

            China executes between 2000 and 8000 people per year. It's horrific. But that is a tiny percentage of the US incarceration rate.

            Look at this list:


            WHY IS THE US ON THIS LIST? No other western democracy still executes its citizens.

            It is time to start asking why the US Justice system is so barbaric.

      • Replace "pro-democracy writings" with "sexual stories involving fictional characters said to be under age 18" or "pictures of fully clothed people under the age of 18" and you'll find many cases...
      • by Clsid ( 564627 )

        There you go:

        Al-Jazeera journalist imprisoned in Guantánamo Bay to sue George Bush []

        The thing is, that with every government you can find cases like this, where they try to get rid or punish uncomfortable people/institutions.

  • A sensible move (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Das Auge ( 597142 ) on Friday April 19, 2013 @05:51PM (#43498735)
    You can't have it both way. We're (Americans) are constantly told that we shouldn't push our laws on other countries. That's correct, we should not. We should follow the laws of the land that we're operating in. This can result in following laws that would be looked down on, or even illegal, in our own country. Yahoo! tried to follow the laws of the land it was operating in and got burned for its efforts, and now it's pulling out.

    You can't have it both way ways. Either you push your laws on another country or you follow the other country's laws. You can't pick and choose. The only other alternative is to leave. Yahoo! makes far more money in the US than in China, so it can't keep drawing bad publicity. They left. A sensible move.
    • about damn time.
    • Re:A sensible move (Score:4, Insightful)

      by SteveFoerster ( 136027 ) <steve AT stevefoerster DOT com> on Friday April 19, 2013 @07:48PM (#43499643) Homepage

      If you're not representing a government, then no matter what you do you can't push your laws on anyone because you don't have any. But you can push your principles on them, including through civil disobedience, which when it comes to Internet freedom is a good thing when companies do it in China, the U.S., or anywhere else.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        In this case, civil disobedience costs money to a company (fines, legal costs, threat of being shut down).

        When a company has shareholders (even if not public), it's really hard to uphold those "principles" unless most of the shareholders are willing to lose money over said principles.

        Civil disobedience is (relatively) much easier when you're just with yourself, and can pretty much say to hell with it, I'm sticking to this one.

        • Companies that are privately held often behave significantly differently from those that are publicly traded. I might agree with you when it comes to companies in the latter category, but not those in the former one.

    • by Clsid ( 564627 )

      Well, they didn't pull out because of the laws. That is bs and you know it. They don't make money here and they are closing that down, as simple as that. Besides, you do have to obey the laws of the country where you are in. What is so crazy about it?

  • Heh heh (Score:3, Informative)

    by rmdingler ( 1955220 ) on Friday April 19, 2013 @05:53PM (#43498761) Journal
    So to do business in China, corporations will be beholden to the whims of the government, as opposed to the American way... whereby the government is beholden to the whims of corporations.
  • Since they were/are prepared to do business in other dictatorships, I wonder what the real reason is?
    • by Anonymous Coward

      maybe its in exchange for America not giving food aid to North Korea - instead give some business to China. Who the heck knows in this world? Maybe they're just not making any money in China.

    • No, too many folks in China were working from home. Now they can't email colleagues. They'll just have to come into the office to perform business communications, like Yahoo employees.

    • by Clsid ( 564627 )

      That there is a whole separate Chinese Internet that most people in the West never heard about it. So Yahoo is very irrelevant here. I cannot access YouTube and Facebook from here and when I ask my Chinese friends if they want a VPN they just don't care, since all the stuff they want is in the Chinese Internet anyway. And I have to say, after being here for a bit they kind of have a point. I use Youku and QQ quite a bit now.

  • by tibit ( 1762298 ) on Friday April 19, 2013 @06:52PM (#43499227)

    The company said [...] that it was unaware it would be used to convict dissidents.

    I have some family members still alive who each spent at least a year in a work camp in Siberia courtesy of Stalin. I guess it'd do some good to get some corporate upper echelons to stay at a work camp in Siberia for a winter or two to get a message what totalitarian regimes are all about. If you read their PR and are all like "Don't know if trolling or just stupid", then a cold clue bat is perhaps the device of choice.

    • by Clsid ( 564627 )

      Oh wait, you forget the part where the oil companies do business with very oppressive regimes in the Middle East.

  • Axing products, not cooperating with governments wanting it to hand over data about the users, ... yes, Yahoo! is becoming Google.

    • by Clsid ( 564627 )

      Google hands user's data to the US govt, even if they like to make the impression they are doing the right thing. Just because they had a failed search product in China and used that excuse to pull out from the market does not mean they are like a saint or something. If there is anything I have learned is that big corporations and governments in general have zero morals when it comes to the practical stuff.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Not that yahoo email is that great overall, but I really don't see a point to corporations having much to do with China at this point other than to outsource some production for cheaper labor. Standard of living and wages are going up in China, good for them, but that kind of takes away the incentive. Start getting into business of selling them stuff instead, free yahoo accounts don't really count as selling. I doubt advertising from yahoo mail sees much revenue in China either. Benefits are starting to get

    • by Clsid ( 564627 )

      The thing is that the Chinese are very clever when it comes to the Internet. First of all, they have the govt on one side blocking future foreign competition with the firewall. Second, they have developed an amazing array of cool tech and I will explain a couple of them to you:

      -A Youtube-like website called Youku with advertisement before the beginning of each video, that also has the possibility to buy movies, watch TV shows (including American ones) in a legal way, and being extremely fast in mainland Chi

  • > Yahoo also announced the closure of six other
    > products today:... older versions of Mail.

    Too bad. I still hate their new (as of several years ago) webmail. Oh well.

    > If you're on dial-up or an older browser, we'll
    > move you to an HTML only / basic version
    > of the new Yahoo! Mail.

    Oh good. Maybe there's hope.

  • Set up a script that lets Yahoo China users migrate to your service simply by typing in their old email and password.

  • by Locke2005 ( 849178 ) on Saturday April 20, 2013 @11:57AM (#43503989)
    Yahoo is still in business???

The only possible interpretation of any research whatever in the `social sciences' is: some do, some don't. -- Ernest Rutherford