Microsoft to Shut down LinkedIn in China over Censorship Concerns

  • VOA News

    October 15, 2021 08:11

    Microsoft will close LinkedIn in China later this year, the company announced Thursday.

    The professional networking site, which started operating in China in 2014, faces a "significantly more challenging operating environment and greater compliance requirements" in the country, it said in a blog post.

    "We recognized that operating a localized version of LinkedIn in China would mean adherence to requirements of the Chinese government on Internet platforms," the company said. "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."

    Small toy figures are seen between displayed U.S. flag and Linkedin logo, in this illustration picture. /Reuters

    However, it seems China's regulatory burdens have become too much. Chinese regulators told the company it had to better police content earlier this year, The Wall Street Journal reported. The company began blocking some content and profiles Chinese regulators prohibited, including profiles of journalists.

    "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," LinkedIn said.

    LinkedIn is not completely leaving the Chinese market. It will now offer something called InJobs, which will not have a social feed and will not allow users to share content, Reuters reported. LinkedIn was the only U.S.-based social networking site still available to Chinese users.

    Microsoft bought the company in 2016, and the site now boasts 774 million users.

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