Microsoft recently announced that it is shutting down its localised version of LinkedIn for China as the country ramps up its internet censorship efforts.
According to Mohak Shroff, Senior Vice President and Head of Engineering at LinkedIn, the company experienced regulatory challenges in China.
"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," wrote Shroff in a blog post.
Shroff added that a brand new standalone app called InJobs will launch this year. It will not have a social feed and it will not let users share content.
This development came after China's internet regulator instructed LinkedIn to better moderate its content in March 2021 and gave the firm a 30-day deadline to do so, according to the Wall Street Journal.
In September 2021, LinkedIn blocked multiple U.S. journalists in China as their profiles allegedly contained prohibited content. LinkedIn profiles of academics, researchers and activists were similarly blocked in China in recent months.
LinkedIn was the last major U.S. social platform still functioning in China. Twitter and Facebook have been blocked in the country since 2009. Meanwhile, Google moved its search operations from mainland China to Hong Kong a year after.
On the other hand, Microsoft currently offers a version of Bing for China, which is hosted in the country on Chinese servers. This means that the localised version of the search engine is subject to local censorship directives. The company also developed a custom version of Windows 10 for the Chinese government, which was announced at a Surface event in Shanghai in May 2017.
LinkedIn was introduced in China in 2014 with limited features offered to comply with the country's internet regulations.
Written by Sophia Lopez
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