Yahoo China announced today that it will bid farewell to its Chinese music service on January 20. A statement posted on the Web site in Chinese says: “Thank you for your continued support of Yahoo services. Due to an adjustment in our product strategy, we have decided to take Yahoo Music offline on January 20, 2013, when the service will no longer be available.”
Yahoo’s announcement is the latest by a foreign Internet company rolling back its roster of products available in China. Last week, Google announced the closure of its shopping service in that country, two months after closing its Music Search in China after losing its battle with Baidu, which recently signed a licensing deal that gives it access to Universal, Warner and Sony BMG’s music catalogs. Yahoo, however, is partnered with Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, which operates Yahoo China.
The Sunnyvale-based company owns a 23 percent stake in Alibaba and recently announced that it appointed Jacqueline Reses, EVP of people and development at Yahoo, to Alibaba’s board. But the partnership has not been a smooth one — Reses is the third person to occupy that seat in a year, perhaps a signifier of the tension between the two companies. Yahoo has been undergoing a fundamental restructuring over the past year, and shut down its Korea office in October as part of that plan. We’ve reached out to Yahoo for comment on why it decided to close Yahoo Music in China and will update if we get a response.