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LinkedIn Closes Platform In China Due To “Challenging Operating Environment”




The career networking platform, owned by Microsoft (MSFT), made the move due to a “significantly tougher operating environment and tighter compliance requirements in China,” Mohak Shroff, senior vice president of engineering at LinkedIn, said in a statement. blog post Thusday.

Instead, the company will roll out a new platform called InJobs later this year, a China-only portal that “won’t include social feeds or the ability to share posts or articles,” but will simply serve as a portal to list and apply for jobs.

“Although we have been successful in helping Chinese members find jobs and economic opportunities, we have not found the same level of success in the more social aspects of sharing and information,” said Shroff.

LinkedIn has been available in China since 2014. Its presence in the country, where it has more than 45 million users, is notable because many other Western social networks, including Facebook (FB) and Twitter (TWTR), are being blocked by the Chinese government’s massive censorship apparatus known as the Great Firewall.
Microsoft has a long history in China, having entered the market in 1992. Its software is widely used by Chinese government and businesses, and its Bing search engine is also accessible, while Google (GOOGL) has been cut for years.
Earlier this year, LinkedIn suspended new user registrations in China to “ensure we stay in compliance with local law,” according to a spokesperson at the time. The company declined to say which local law it was looking at.

“We recognized that operating a localized version of LinkedIn in China would mean meeting the Chinese government’s requirements for Internet platforms,” Shroff said Thursday. “Although we strongly support free speech, we have taken this approach to create value for our members in China and around the world.”

LinkedIn will continue to work with Chinese companies “to help them create economic opportunities,” he added.

Laura He of CNN Business contributed to this report.




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