Yahoo and China

I won’t even to link to anything since I am not trying to slag the tech press but I find it is comical that there is not much research put in to finding out what Yahoo was doing in China.

This is how I understand it from working with that team, knowing the backstory and such.

First off – ever since Alibaba did the Yahoo China deal there really was no more consumer facing Yahoo products in China. In fact one of the longstanding beefs was Yahoo being unhappy with how Alibaba did nothing with Yahoo tech or the brand in China. They did the deal for capital mostly and tech but I don’t think Alibaba used the tech much. So it was more about the financing and the blessing it provided with Jerry being involved and all. Big turning point for Baba.

From that point on Yahoo in China was nothing really. At one point though some senior Sunnyvale execs who were close to Jerry and who had good ties to China wanted to return with their families to Beijing. So they went and opened up an R&D center but mostly I would say it was just remote engineering. In all it was mostly an experiment in that I don’t recall a lot of mainline stuff moving there but there were some big projects and the team started to become a key part of building and maintaining Yahoo’s core platform. Problem was that it was not a real a cost saving move given the inflation in China and the double whammy of also not doing any business in China.

So China was really just one of the last remote engineering orgs to go. Brazil gone. Indonesia gone. The centralization plan was back on target. Build in HQ – launch everywhere. Like a lot of big internet companies really.

So yes – they closed China. I don’t think it has any connection to a pull back in China since Yahoo is already gone from China. Now the engineers are too.

Big deal. Not.

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