Zoom to stop direct sales in China

Business & Technology

In an apparent attempt to avoid further scrutiny in the U.S., Zoom is essentially pulling out of China, and will only offer its services there in partnership with local Chinese companies.

eric yuan, the ceo of zoom
Eric Yuan, CEO of Zoom Video Communications. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri.

Starting on August 23, Chinese consumers will no longer be able to directly purchase Zoom services. Instead, they will have to access the company’s video call services through local partners that utilize Zoom technology, according to a company announcement. 

  • In May, Zoom limited its services in China to corporate accounts. With the coming changes, Chinese users will be able to attend meetings as participants, but will not be able to host meetings of their own.

The announcement comes after Donald Trump said on Friday night that he would ban TikTok, and after the San Jose–based company came under fire for complying with P.R.C. censorship and routing user data through China.

  • Last Thursday, two U.S. senators wrote a letter to the Justice Department urging an investigation into Zoom’s and TikTok’s ties with Beijing.
  • Zoom was founded in 2011 by Eric Yuan, who was born in China but has since become an American citizen. According to Zoom’s regulatory filing earlier this year, its product development team is “largely based” in China.