Today, August 19th is the last day of Yahoo Email service for Chinese users. In this world, now everything appears ephemeral. Back in 2007, Yahoo promised its email box was going to be a “Lifelong Companion”, but now we only can deplore the vicissitude of internet fortune. It is said only 2% of Chinese email users would be effected by this. So the departure of Yahoo Email is just a very natural outcome without the need of much lamentation.

Yahoo’s adventure in China has never been that easy while its partnership with Alibaba has never been a happy marriage. As for its email service, it just could never compete with Tencent’s QQ or Netease.

Honestly I do not perceive email has ever been a dominant trend in China compared with online chat. Perhaps typing Chinese language in paragraph is a little more troublesome than typing in English. Therefore Chinese netizens do prefer ongoing yet crispy chatting.

This explained why Tecent’s success is built upon the loyalty from its QQ online chat users; Wechat’s popularity is through converting QQ users as well. This also explained if you check most Chinese local brand websites or e-commerce sites, hardly would you discern this so called “e-newsletter subscription” feature. Again Chinese are not huge fan of email.

Personally I rarely write email now days unless for work purpose. And interestingly, although I do have a corporate email address, I rarely use it to communicate with domestic companies. Well, companies with foreign background are disposed to conduct formal and written statements and my corporate email is obviously the right way to do. However every time I am in contact with a local company, they often ask me “Can you add me on QQ and we might chat about this?” In addition, they often send me corporate presentations via QQ online chat, which they consider a lot faster and easier to deliver than email.

Oops, sorry for my digression here. We are supposed to mourn the last day of “Yahoo Email”, even though it is leaving the stage rather unnoticed. So Bye Bye “Yahoo Email”!

By Cécilia Wu
English & Chinese Editorial Manager