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Yahoo to cut China email service in August

Yahoo will shut down its email service in China this summer, as part of a deal with partner Alibaba Group.

The service is scheduled to close 19 August, a Yahoo spokeswoman confirmed; users are being ushered toward Alibaba's email alternative, Aliyun.

"As part of an agreement we announced regarding Yahoo's stake in Alibaba on May 2012, we will shut down China Yahoo Mail accounts on 19 August, 2013," she said in a statement. "We'll offer two options to our users to make this transition as smooth as possible."

Users can move their existing email to the Aliyun product, or another third-party email provider of their own choosing.

The news comes shortly after Yahoo revealed plans to cut Deals, SMS Alerts, Kids, and older versions of Mail. Most will close by 30 April, though Mail will stick around until 3 June. Users can upgrade to the newer version, and migrate over to the recently released Yahoo Mail for iPad and Android tablets.

Meanwhile, this isn't the first time the company pulled out of an Asian market; Yahoo left Korea at the end of 2012.

At the time, Yahoo said it remains committed to the Asia-Pacific region, where business is solid and there is "a lot of opportunity for growth across our content properties, communications, services and e-commerce sites."

Last year, Yahoo sold half of its 20 per cent stake in Alibaba, earning more than $7 billion (£4.8bn). Its remaining stake is now worth about $14 billion (£9.6bn). If the Chinese Internet heavyweight goes public, as is expected in the next two years, Yahoo will be able to sell more of its holdings.