Microsoft-owned LinkedIn announced in a statement Thursday morning that it will shut down its social media service in China due to a “significantly more challenging operating environment,” and after cries of censorship among its users, joining a long list of American technology companies no longer operating in the country.
LinkedIn will no longer operate as a social media service in China, though it will relaunch as a … [+] jobs posting site. (Photo Illustration by Budrul Chukrut/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
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The service had operated a “localized version of LinkedIn in China since 2014,” complying to stringent local regulations.
Although Chinese users will no longer be able to post on the site, ending LinkedIn’s seven-year run in China as a social media platform, LinkedIn will relaunch later this year in China as InJobs, a job posting and application site.
The job networking platform was the “last major American social-media network operating openly in the country,” per the Wall Street Journal.
LinkedIn’s decision to modify operations comes after criticism of censorship. Two weeks ago, it blocked several American journalists’ accounts on the localized Chinese platform, while in June, many academics reported being blocked too.
LinkedIn wrote in a blog post announcing the move, “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.”