Bloomberg News

Dear China: Yahoo CEO Mayer Still Loves You After Halting E-Mail  

May 21, 2013

Yahoo! Inc. Headquarters

Graffiti art of Yahoo! Inc. applications are displayed on the company's headquarters in Sunnyvale, California. Photographer: Tony Avelar/Bloomberg

Dear China, Yahoo! Inc. CEO Marissa Mayer still loves you very much.

That was the message to users in Beijing when the company was questioned about how its decision to shutter e-mail service in China reflects on Yahoo's seriousness on doing business in the world's most-populous nation and largest base of Internet users.

Yahoo has a "very serious commitment" to conducting research and development in Beijing, Yahoo Vice President Zhang Chen said in response to a moderator's question while appearing at the "CHINICT TechStars in China" conference in Beijing.

"Marissa Mayer loves the Beijing team," Zhang said. "She loves the great talent we are recruiting. She loves the significant contribution we are making to Yahoo globally."

Users of Yahoo's e-mail service in China were given four months starting April to migrate their accounts to Alibaba's Aliyun mail service, Yahoo's e-mail service in the U.S. or another provider of the user’s choice. That decision was part of last year's agreement by Alibaba to buy back Yahoo's stake in the Chinese e-commerce company, Zhang said.

The Beijing center is one of Yahoo's "most strategic" research locations globally, Zhang said. "For us the expectations are huge; The pressure is on."

Yahoo's China e-mail service will end on Aug. 19.

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Edmond Lococo in Beijing at elococo@bloomberg.net


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