Microsoft is shutting down LinkedIn in China nearly seven years after its launch
LinkedIn, a company Microsoft bought in 2016 for $26.2-billion, is one of the only major U.S. social media companies allowed to operate in China. Microsoft is now pulling the plug on LinkedIn in China nearly seven years after its launch, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal.
Blaming the shutdown on “challenging operating environment and greater compliance requirements,” Microsoft said it will replace it with a stripped-down version of the platform that would focus only on jobs.
“We’re also facing a significantly more challenging operating environment and greater compliance requirements in China,” LinkedIn said in a blog post on Thursday, adding it did not find the same level of success in the more social aspects of sharing and staying informed like it has globally.
LinkedIn is the only major U.S.-owned social network operating in the country, where the government requires such platforms to follow strict rules and regulations. In a blog post, Microsoft says:
“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.”
However, the real reason for the shutdown could be due to increasing claims from academics and reporters that they’ve received notifications stating their profiles on the service are blocked in China, as reported recently by The Wall Street Journal.
Another report from The Wall Street Journal today stated that the Chinese government instructed Microsoft to better regulate its content in March, with a 30-day deadline.
LinkedIn said it would replace the Chinese service, which restricts posting of certain content due to regulatory requirements, with a new portal called InJobs. The new service, which will be launched later this year, will not include a social feed or the ability to share posts or articles, it said.