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Google's China Move Gets Yahoo's Support

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SUNNYVALE, Calif. — Yahoo Inc. supports rival Google's threatened departure from China because of computer attacks that pried into the e-mail accounts of human rights activists.

In a statement Wednesday, Yahoo said it's "aligned" with Google's reaction to the hacking that originated within China.

Google has promised to stop censoring its search results in China, defying the country's government. The move may result in Google pulling out of China completely.

Yahoo, based in Sunnyvale, Calif., closed its offices in China in 2005 when it sold its business there to the Alibaba Group. As part of that deal, Yahoo retains a 39 percent stake in Alibaba that represents one of Yahoo's most valuable assets.

Yahoo spokeswoman Nina Blackwell declined on Wednesday to say whether its solidarity with Google would cause the company to sell its Alibaba holdings.

Before selling its Chinese business, Yahoo's cooperation with the Chinese government angered human rights activists and U.S. lawmakers. Much of the scalding criticism focused on Yahoo's role in the jailing of two Chinese journalists. The evidence against them included e-mail that Yahoo turned over to the Chinese government.

In 2007, Yahoo settled a U.S. lawsuit filed on behalf of the Chinese journalists. Shortly before the case was settled, a U.S. lawmaker denounced the company's executives as moral "pygmies" during a Congressional hearing.

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