Microsoft has decided to shut down its localized version of LinkedIn in China, stating that it will launch a new standalone jobs application InJobs later this year in the country.
“Our decision to launch a localized version of LinkedIn in China in February 2014 was driven by our mission to connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful,” said the company in a blog post on Thursday.
“We recognized that operating a localized version of LinkedIn in China would mean adherence to requirements of the Chinese government on Internet platforms,” it added.
For this purpose, LinkedIn said that it established a clear set of guidelines to follow should it ever need to re-evaluate its localized version.
While this strategy enabled it to navigate its operations for the past seven years, the company said it has “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,” 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,” it added.
LinkedIn will replace its localized platform in China with a new app called InJobs that has some of LinkedIn’s career-networking features but “will not include a social feed or the ability to share posts or articles.”
China’s internet watchdog in May said it had found LinkedIn as well as Microsoft’s Bign search engine and about 100 other apps were engaged in improper collection and use of data and ordered them to fix the problem.
In 2014, LinkedIn launched a site in simplified Chinese, the written characters used on the mainland, to expand its reach in the country. It said at the time that expanding in China raises “difficult questions” because it will be required to censor content, but that it would be clear about how it conducts business in China and undertake “extensive measures” to protect members’ rights and data.
Microsoft bought LinkedIn in 2016.
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