Website LinkedIn Takes Extreme Stance With China

This past Thursday, the website LinkedIn put out an announcement that stated that it would be shutting down its services and networking platform inside of China lat on this year. The website claimed this was due to a “more challenging operating environment” alongside greater “compliance requirements” throughout the communist state.

“Our decision to launch a localized version of LinkedIn in China in February 2014 was driven by our mission to connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful,” announced LinkedIn in a blog post titled “China: Sunset of Localized Version of LinkedIn and Launch of New InJobs App Later This Year.” “We recognized that operating a localized version of LinkedIn in China would mean adherence to requirements of the Chinese government on Internet platforms. While we strongly support freedom of expression, we took this approach in order to create value for our members in China and around the world. We also established a clear set of guidelines to follow should we ever need to re-evaluate our localized version of LinkedIn in China.”

“This strategy has enabled us to navigate the operation of our localized version of LinkedIn in China over the past seven years to help our members in China find a job, share and stay informed. 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,” continued the blog post. “We’re also facing a significantly more challenging operating environment and greater compliance requirements in China. Given this, we’ve made the decision to sunset the current localized version of LinkedIn, which is how people in China access LinkedIn’s global social media platform, later this year.”

The company went on to outline their replacement strategy for China, which includes a new platform that does not involve the use of a social feed or the power to share any posts or articles to other users.

“Our new strategy for China is to put our focus on helping China-based professionals find jobs in China and Chinese companies find quality candidates. Later this year, we will launch InJobs, a new, standalone jobs application for China. InJobs will not include a social feed or the ability to share posts or articles. We will also continue to work with Chinese businesses to help them create economic opportunity,” stated the post. “This decision aligns with our commitment to creating economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce. While that has been our vision for nearly two decades now, it feels more important than ever as we all strive to build a global economy that delivers more prosperity and progress to people all over the world.”

As of this post from the company, LinkedIn was one of the last few American social media groups still operating inside China, which has banned all platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.

In order to be allowed to conduct business in China, “LinkedIn censored the posts made by its millions of Chinese users in accordance with Chinese laws, something that other American companies were often reluctant or unable to do,” stated The New York Times. “In March, China’s internet regulator rebuked LinkedIn for failing to control political content, three people briefed on the matter said at the time. Officials required LinkedIn to perform a self-evaluation and offer a report to the Cyberspace Administration of China, the country’s internet regulator. The service was also forced to suspend new sign-ups of users inside China for 30 days.”

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