Yahoo China website customer
An internet user reads a search result on the Yahoo website in BeijingAFP/ PETER PARKS

Internet giant Yahoo is to close its China office as part of its worldwide consolidation plans.

Yahoo sold its Chinese operations to China's largest e-commerce company Alibaba in 2005, but has retained a physical presence in the country with its Beijing-based research centre.

A spokesperson said "around 350 jobs" would be cut.

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

Cost cut bite

The veteran of the first tech boom of the 1990s has been struggling to keep pace and maintain profit growth in the face of thriving competition from rival search engines like Google and an increasingly more mobile environment.

As consumers turned to mobile devices, Yahoo has been attempting to balance the downsizing advertising revenues, by finding new revenue streams.

As a result, the firm's chief executive Marissa Mayer has made a raft of acquisitions in a bid to diversify business.

When the Alibaba Group went public in September last year, Yahoo sold 140 million shares for around $9bn (£6bn).

Earlier this year, it has announced plans to spin-off the remaining of its 15.4% stake in Alibaba, valued at more than $30bn in a new company, SpinCo.

In October, the firm also reported plans to invest in messaging app Snapchat, making use of a part of the proceeds from the sale of shares in Alibaba.

In 2013, its total revenues were $4.68bn.

Out of China

Yahoo is the latest US technology firm to completely exit operations in China, after Google partially pulled-out in 2010 over censorship issues.

Earlier this year, gamemaker Zynga closed its office and scraped more than 70 jobs after its products failed to gain traction against local competition.