Microsoft to shut down LinkedIn in China, replace it with new InJobs app

18:53, 15 October 2021
Microsoft to shut down LinkedIn in China, replace it with new InJobs app Photo: Lee Jae-Won/AFLO/Global Look Press

The decision is explained by not being able to comply with Chinese demands on sharing information.

Microsoft has announced in a statement that it will “sunset” the Chinese version of LinkedIn at the end of 2021 since the company cannot meet Chinese requirements.

“We recognized that operating a localized version of LinkedIn in China would mean adherence to requirements of the Chinese government on Internet platforms. We’re facing a significantly more challenging operating environment and greater compliance requirements in China,” the company said highlighting that it respected freedom of speech.

One of the last major American websites to function in China, LinkedIn representatives have revealed that they will launch in China a new platform called InJobs. It will be similar to LinkedIn concerning job searching but will not have a social feed or the ability to share posts or articles.

LinkedIn was operating in China since 2014 to help Chinese users “find a job, share and stay informed.” The company’s statement assured that it will keep these priorities in InJobs as well.

The cancelation decision comes shortly after Microsoft was widely criticized for blocking profiles of several US journalists in China for spreading “prohibited” content.

One of those reporters was the author of a documentary on China's treatment of Tibetan refugees Greg Bruno. He said that he expected the Chinese government to take action against him but expressed surprise that Microsoft considered the demands of foreign authorities.

“I was pretty angry. The biggest thing that bothered me about LinkedIn’s message was it was putting the onus on me to self-censor,” Bruno said.

LinkedIn gave no comments on the bans.

It is not the first time the company faces trouble in the PRC. This spring the Chinese government reportedly ordered a month-long suspension of all new accounts since LinkedIn did not censor political content.

Earlier there have been reports that Chinese intelligence services were using LinkedIn for recruitment.