After seeing its popularity decline, Yahoo’s Internet portal in China has formally closed down, in a sign that e-commerce giant Alibaba Group is transitioning away from the brand.
The portal went offline on Sunday. Its closure is rooted in an agreement Yahoo made last year with Alibaba Group, which has control over the Yahoo brand in the country.
For years now, Alibaba has operated Yahoo’s China business as part of $1 billion deal investment from the U.S. company made back in 2005. In exchange, Yahoo acquired a 40 percent stake in Alibaba.
But last year, Yahoo agreed to sell part of that stake back to the Chinese e-commerce company, following ongoing disagreements between the two Internet giants. The share buy-back resulted in Yahoo granting Alibaba “a transitional license” to continue operating its brand for up to four years.
Since then, Alibaba has been phasing out Yahoo products. In December, Yahoo’s music service in China went down. Then earlier this year, Yahoo’s China site announced the closure of its email service, which formally went offline last month.