Microsoft is shutting down its main LinkedIn service in China later this year after internet rules were tightened by Beijing, the latest US tech giant to slash its ties with the country.
The company said in a blog post on Thursday that it was faced with “a more challenging operating environment in China and greater compliance requirements.”
LinkedIn will replace its local 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.”
In March LinkedIn said it would halt new member sign-ups on LinkedIn China due to unspecified regulatory issues. In May China’s internet watchdog said it had engaged in improper collection and use of LinkedIn as well as Microsoft’s Bing search engine and about 100 other apps data and ordered them to fix the problem.
Several scholars this year also reported receiving warning letters from LinkedIn that they were sharing “prohibited content” that would not be made viewable in China but could still be viewed by LinkedIn users elsewhere.
Tony Lee, a scholar at the Free University of Berlin, told the AP in June that LinkedIn did not tell him what content was banned, but said it linked to the part of his profile where he listed his publications. One of his listed articles was about the 1989 crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square and the other compared Chinese leader Xi Jinping to former leader Mao Zedong.
It’s been more than seven years since LinkedIn launched a site in Simplified Chinese, the written characters used on the mainland, to expand its reach in the country. It said at launch in early 2014 that expanding into China raises “tough questions” because it would require censoring content, but would clarify how it does business in China and “comprehensive measures” to protect does. Members’ rights and data.
Microsoft bought LinkedIn in 2016.
“LinkedIn once played an important role, as the only social media network on which Chinese and Western allies (the Communist Party of China) could communicate away from censorship and prying eyes,” said Ike Freeman, another scholar, who has been described as the only social media network in the world. Year censorship warning letter was received. In a text message on Thursday.
Freeman, a doctoral student in China at Oxford University, said it was “shame that Microsoft spent months censoring its users – and worse, pressured them to self-censor” but the company eventually pulled the plug. made the right choice.
Google pulled its search engine out of mainland China in 2010 after the government began censoring search results and videos on YouTube.
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