Microsoft is pulling the plug on LinkedIn in China practically seven years after its launch, marking the retreat of the final main US-owned social community in China as authorities there additional tighten their management over the web sector. LinkedIn stated in a weblog publish on Thursday that it will exchange the platform later this 12 months with a stripped-down model that will focus solely on jobs, referred to as “InJobs”, which would not include a social feed or share options.
“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 stated. “We’re additionally dealing with a considerably tougher working atmosphere and larger compliance necessities in China.”
LinkedIn’s moves in China have been closely watched as a model for how a Western social media app could operate within the country’s tightly regulated internet, where many other platforms such as Twitter , Fb and Google’s YouTube are banned.
The platform expanded in China in 2014, acknowledging at the time that the company would have to censor some of the content users posted on its website to comply with Chinese rules. It has been among the companies hit over the past year by a wide-ranging crackdown by Beijing, which has imposed fresh curbs on its internet companies on areas from content to customer privacy. The Chinese government has also said it wants platforms to more actively promote core socialist values.
In March, LinkedIn paused new sign-ups in China, saying that it was working to be compliant with Chinese laws. Two months later, it was among 105 apps that was accused by China’s top internet regulator of illegally collecting and using personal information and was ordered to make rectifications.
News website Axios last month reported that LinkedIn had blocked from its Chinese platform the profiles of several U.S. journalists and academics which contained information China considers sensitive, citing “prohibited content”.
Microsoft additionally owns Bing, the one main international search engine accessible from inside China’s so-called Nice Firewall whose search outcomes on delicate matters are censored.