LinkedIn is withdrawing from Chine due to mounting challenges.
LinkedIn, the last of the social media giants still operating in China has finally pulled out, citing ‘significantly more challenging operating environment and greater compliance requirements’.
LinkedIn now joins Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and others in either leaving or being banned from the Chinese market.
Microsoft, the owners of LinkedIn, have faced huge criticism over their continued presence in China over the last few years from both campaigners and US politicians over what was seen as their continued ‘appeasement’ of the country, agreeing to censor certain groups and block others… including activists and journalists.
The platform will be replaced by a stripped-down version called InJobs, a job only site with zero social feeds or interactions.
Before the closure, Microsoft claimed 54 million Chinese users used their platform but in recent years they’d been ‘walking a tightrope’ to stay compliant with increasingly stringent demands from the Chinese government.
While we’ve found success in helping Chinese members find jobs and economic opportunity, we have not found that same level of success in the more social aspects of sharing and staying informed. We’re also facing a significantly more challenging operating environment and greater compliance requirements in China. – Mohak Shroff – Senior Vice-President, LinkedIn
This exit from the Chinese market has been a long time coming for LinkedIn:
- March ’21 – LinkedIn were forced to restrict new signups to their platform after Chinese authorities insisted they censor sensitive content.
- September ’21 – LinkedIn had to stop Chinese users of their platform viewing content published by several US journalists, academics and activists who were highly critical of Beijing.
Finally, someone at LinkedIn said enough was enough and the platform cut its losses, withdrawing from China completely.
LinkedIn’s replacement, InJobs, is unlikely to be able to compete with more local competition but it’s though Microsoft will want to keep a foothold in China should things change in the future.
That just leaves Bing, as the only major foreign-owned search engine currently operating in China… and Bing is only hanging in there by censoring its results, blocking certain searches completely (for example Tiananmen Square).