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Microsoft's LinkedIn Leaves China Following Charges Of Censorship


Topline

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.

Key Facts

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.

LinkedIn joins Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, which were all banned in 2009, and Reddit, which was banned in 2018, as American social media platforms that left China.

The job networking platform was the “last major American social-media network operating openly in the country,” per the Wall Street Journal.

Key Background

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. 

Crucial Quote

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.”

Further Reading

Microsoft Folds LinkedIn Social-Media Service in China (The Wall Street Journal)

LinkedIn’s unanswered questions about China censorship (Axios)



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