Yahoo set to axe 300 jobs as part of China office shutdown: Report

SAN FRANCISCO (Bloomberg) - Yahoo! Inc is reportedly shutting down its office in China, a move that will eliminate 200 to 300 jobs, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.

The Web portal, which has been consolidating offices and trimming staff around the world, told employees based in Beijing that it will close the site, Yahoo said in a statement on Wednesday. Yahoo had about 12,500 workers worldwide at the end of 2014. While the company did not say how many would be affected in China, it employed 200 to 300 people there, said the person, who asked not to be named because the number isn't being disclosed publicly.

"We are constantly making changes to align resources, and to foster better collaboration and innovation across our business," Yahoo said in the statement.

"We currently do not offer local product experiences in Beijing but the office has served as a research and development center."

Yahoo is looking for new ways to trim expenses as it comes under pressure from investors, such as Starboard Value LP, who have called for cost-saving measures. Chief executive officer Marissa Mayer said in January that the company has focused on efficiency by keeping its employee numbers little changed even as it has made acquisitions that have brought on more staff.

For Yahoo, based in Sunnyvale, California, the exit closes a chapter on a sometimes difficult history in China. Executives came under criticism from human-rights activists and US lawmakers after the company turned over information to the Chinese government on journalist Shi Tao, who was later sentenced to 10 years in prison. Yahoo sold its Chinese operations to Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. in 2005.

The closure of the site was not related to any government concerns, said the person familiar with the plan. The move was reported earlier by the South China Morning Post.