Microsoft kills LinkedIn in China after censorship complications

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LinkedIn’s time in China is over. While it had managed to persist there for over half a decade (having launched there in 2014), March 2021’s censorship debacle seems to have helped pave the way for Microsoft to finally pull the plug. In LinkedIn’s stead, new app InJobs will be released by the end of 2021.

LinkedIn has known since day one that it would have to operate within specific parameters to fit the Chinese government’s rules and regulations. However, in March 2021, it got slapped by Chinese internet regulators for not properly censoring certain political content being facilitated on the site. Sign-ups for LinkedIn were suspended for a month and LinkedIn had to undergo review.

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A few months later, some journalists found themselves walled off from China’s LinkedIn (via The Guardian). It was a contentious moment for the platform, given growing concerns about censorship.

Now, Microsoft has officially thrown in the towel. LinkedIn’s China operations are shutting down, to be replaced with InJobs, which LinkedIn told Axios is all about “helping China-based professionals find jobs in China and Chinese companies find quality candidates.” Here’s the twist: InJobs won’t have social feeds or allow for article sharing or posting.

LinkedIn said the changes have come about because of “a significantly more challenging operating environment and greater compliance requirements in China.” InJobs is designed to limit liability and risk while still accomplishing core job board functions.

Though not an identical situation by any measure, recall that Microsoft’s Windows 11 has also had a hard time integrating with the Chinese market due to the country’s rules.

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