Yahoo arrived in China 14 years ago. And one of the first services that it launched here was email. To many, it seemed to be the best choice at that time. In 2005, Yahoo sold its China business, including the mail service, to Alibaba, the country's biggest e-commerce company.
In retrospect, this could have been the first hint of its fate. In September 2007, Yahoo China changed its email domain name from yahoo.com.cn to yahoo.cn. The company claimed that this would be a life-time mailbox for users. Combining many of Yahoo's other services like Flickr and music box, the new email service helped the company win quite a lucrative share of the market, but only for a very short period of time. On April 18th, Yahoo China told its users that it would close down its email services in China in four months. The decision came on the heels of the closure of music search in China last January, and the closing of its free photo service in 2009. Millions of users will have to make the change, but a specific number is not yet available.