Microsoft said Thursday that it will pull LinkedIn from China later this year as it faces a “significantly more challenging operating environment and greater compliance requirements” in the country.
LinkedIn launched a localized version of its site in China in 2014. “We recognized that operating a localized version of LinkedIn in China would mean adherence to requirements of the Chinese government on Internet platforms,” LinkedIn wrote in a blog post. “While we strongly support freedom of expression, we took this approach in order to create value for our members in China and around the world.”
But now, LinkedIn said: “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.”
LinkedIn will launch a standalone jobs app for China called InJobs later this year. It will not have a social feed or the ability to share posts and articles.
Earlier this year Chinese regulators told LinkedIn to improve regulation of its content, The Wall Street Journal reported. LinkedIn recently began blocking certain profiles in China due to prohibited content, including journalists, researchers, and authors.
LinkedIn was the last U.S.-based social networking site operating in China.
Microsoft acquired LinkedIn for $26.2 billion in 2016. The business social network just surpassed $10 billion in annual revenue for the first time. LinkedIn has 774 million members, and user sessions were up 30% in the quarter ended June 30 compared with a year ago.
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