Search engine Ask.com, a wholly owned business of IAC, is halting operations at its office in Hangzhou.
Doug Leeds, president of Ask.com, stated in a company blog post yesterday that offices in New Jersey, USA, are also closing. While Leeds did not state the number of China staff that are affected, other media put the total number at 130.
The closures in New Jersey and Hangzhou will take place over a few months, and Leeds states: "Consolidating our engineering resources in a central location — our Bay Area headquarters — will also make it possible for us to swiftly respond to the hyper-competitive arena that Q&A has become. We need a team that is able to work side by side, face to face, idea to idea, as much as possible. We simply aren’t able to do that with our team fractured across the country, across the globe."
Founded as Ask Jeeves in 1996, the company and service was re-named Ask.com in 2005.