Foreign companies are struggling to operate in China. This week, Microsoft made an important announcement. The tech giant will shut down its local version of LinkedIn in China as the country continues to expand its censorship of the internet. Microsoft acquired LinkedIn for $26.2 billion in 2016. It contributes about $10 billion in annual revenue.
It was the last major U.S. social network still operating in the country, which has some of the strictest censorship rules. Social media platforms, as well as websites like Twitter and Facebook, have been blocked in China. For instance, Google decided to shutter its operations a long time ago.
Microsoft stated that it would shut down the platform due to a “significantly more challenging operating environment and greater compliance requirements in China”. The company will launch a job search site in the country that does not have LinkedIn’s social media features.
Microsoft’s announcement comes after a Chinese internet regulator told LinkedIn in March. to better moderate its content. The regulator gave LinkedIn a 30-day deadline to improve the situation. In September, LinkedIn blocked several U.S. journalists in China, citing “prohibited content” in their profiles.
LinkedIn operated in China for several years. It launched in the country in 2014 with limited features designed to adhere to stricter internet laws in the country. InJobs will replace LinkedIn in the country. However, the new site will not include a social feed or allow users to share posts or articles.
LinkedIn and other platforms
As previously mentioned, people in China can not access Facebook and other social media platforms. The so-called Great Firewall blocks websites such as Facebook, Twitter and others.
They have to use a virtual private network or VPN to access any blocked sites in China. However, the app allowed people to access these services without a VPN. They had to register with their identity card information as well as a phone number.
The app that briefly gave people in China access to foreign websites such as YouTube and Facebook disappeared in 2020. It was available on the Huawei App store. The Tuber App was also available on Apple’s App Store.
Let’s get back to LinkedIn. People who are looking for a job will be able to use InJobs in the near future. The team behind LinkedIn will continue to work with Chinese businesses to help them create economic opportunities.