Yahoo is closing its only remaining office in China and laying off between 200 and 300 employees there, news reports said on Wednesday.

The moves are part of the restructuring and retrenchment at Yahoo and leave the company with only a single office in Beijing as its physical presence in mainland China.

Marissa Mayer still battling to turn round Yahoo. Image: IDG News Service
Marissa Mayer still battling to turn round Yahoo. Image: IDG News Service

The layoffs in China represent about 2 percent of Yahoo's total workforce of 12,500 as of the end of last year, but the percentage headcount reduction could prove less significant than the the decision to walk away from the potential technoloogy talent pool in China.

The Beijing R&D center was focused on Yahoo's "global business," according to its website, employing engineers to develop new ways to personalise Yahoo content and improve its ad targeting.

Yahoo and other US-based Web companies have faced issues around Internet censorship and local competition in China. Yahoo stopped offering its email service in China in 2013, asking users to transfer their accounts to Alimail, which is owned by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba.

Mayer said in February that Yahoo would spin off its 15 percent stake in Alibaba, one of China's largest Internet companies, into a separate company.

Yahoo faces a battle to remain relevant. Last month, it held its first-ever mobile development conference, pitting itself against Facebook, Google and Twitter with well established events and prgrammes for third-party developers.