LinkedIn announced on Thursday, Oct. 14, that it would turn off its networking platform in China this year, saying it is “facing a significantly more challenging operating environment and greater compliance requirements” in the country.
In an announcement posted on its official blog, LinkedIn clarified that it decided to launch a localized version in China in February 2014, aiming to connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.
“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,” it explained. “We also established a clear set of guidelines to follow should we ever need to re-evaluate our localized version of LinkedIn in China.”
The professional network said that strategy has enabled it to navigate the operation of its localized version in China over the past seven years, helping Chinese members find jobs, share, and stay informed.
LinkedIn said it had found success in helping Chinese people find jobs; it had not found the same level of success in sharing and staying informed.
“We’re also facing a significantly more challenging operating environment and greater compliance requirements in China,” it said.
“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 stressed in the post titled, “China: Sunset of Localized Version of LinkedIn and Launch of New InJobs App Later This Year.”
As revealed in the blog title, LinkedIn plans to replace its current platform with InJobs later this year, which focuses on helping China-based professionals find jobs in China and Chinese companies find quality candidates but does not include a social feed or the ability to share posts or articles.
LinkedIn said it would continue to work with Chinese businesses to help them create economic opportunity, which would align with the 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,” LinkedIn added.
As a rare American social media firm allowed to operate 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, according to The New York Times.
Until now, Facebook and Twitter have been banned in the world’s most populous country.