Yahoo Japan has announced that the majority of its services will not be available within the European Economic Area and the UK on the 6th of April. Yahoo Japan’s credit card, email, and ebook services will remain available however everything else will be shut down.
The reason given is the cost associated with compliance with European laws, which include GDPR. In the form of a declaration, Yahoo Japan says it is difficult to maintain continuous services to customers in Europe, the EEA, and the UK as well as in saying to Japanese IT Media that it is “impossible” to pay the expenses of compliance and comply with the laws that govern it.
Yahoo Japan is an entirely separate entity from Yahoo, the American former internet giant, which is now being owned through the Apollo private equity company. Created as a joint venture between US Yahoo as well as SoftBank since 1996. Yahoo Japan continues to be extremely well-known across Japan as a website portal along with a search engine and offers numerous other services in Japanese, including auctions on the internet, e-commerce, as well as highly regarded weather and map apps. The decision to withdraw from Europe entirely comes at the time that Yahoo Japan is intensifying its efforts to expand its operations beyond its domestic market.
Yahoo Japan’s SoftBank-owned subsidiary Z Holdings merged with the dominating Japanese chat application Line in 2012 to create an entirely new company with global goals. Takeshi Idezawa Line Co-CEO and CEO of Z Holdings alongside Yahoo Japan CEO Kentaro Kawabe said at the time that the company “would be interested in launching the world’s first smartphone application.”
Yahoo Japan has evidently decided that the number of users it has in Europe isn’t big enough to justify the effort of adhering to EU rules. The services offered by Yahoo Japan are mainly available in Japan therefore its reach is small, but it’s noteworthy that a company on the internet with such a massive presence on its major market isn’t able to continue to operate in Europe.
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