Microsoft is shutting down its LinkedIn service in China later this year after internet rules were tightened by Beijing, the latest American tech giant to lessen its ties to the country.The company said in a blog post-Thursday it has faced a “significantly more challenging operating environment and greater compliance requirements in China.
LinkedIn will replace its localised 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.LinkedIn in March said it would pause new member sign-ups on LinkedIn China because of unspecified regulatory issues. China’s internet watchdog in May said it had found LinkedIn as well as Microsoft’s Bing search engine and about 100 other apps were engaged in the improper collection and use of data and ordered them to fix the problem.
Several scholars this year also reported getting warning letters from LinkedIn that they were sharing prohibited content that would not be made viewable in China but could still be seen by LinkedIn users elsewhere.
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. Google pulled its search engine out of mainland China in 2010 after the government began censoring search results and videos on YouTube.