China’s biggest online retailer, Gucci, said on Thursday it will close its Chinese online shop, after two years of a boycott.
The Chinese company said the decision was made after discussions with China’s government, including the state-run media, to ensure it has a good platform to operate online and its products are safe for consumers.
China’s government banned all Chinese online shopping in December 2016, a move critics said was aimed at limiting foreign influence and ensuring local businesses can’t dominate online shopping.
Chinese online shopping has long been a popular avenue for foreigners to shop in China, particularly on Chinese social media platforms such as Weibo, the social media network of Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Gucci said it would close its online shop in a bid to reduce the risk of cyber attacks and the possibility of unauthorized sales.
Gucci has been a pioneer in China’s e-commerce boom, opening a store in Hong Kong in 2014 and selling items from the company’s own online store, Guwiasdiamonds.
The company has a presence in more than 40 countries worldwide, with its Chinese-language online store in the U.S. and in Britain.
China has been an important source of foreign currency for the global e-tailer, with sales of Gucci shoes and jewelry accounting for roughly one-third of its total revenue in 2015, according to the company.
Guidance on the shutdown was issued by the National People’s Congress, China’s cabinet.
Guiceweb.com, a company owned by Gucci that was also banned in China in December, is scheduled to open an online store for U.K. customers next week.