Microsoft to replace Chinese version of LinkedIn with a new app
Published: Oct 15, 2021 12:05 AM
More than 200 domestic businesses have registered accounts on the Chinese edition of this online professional networking site. Photo: CFP

File Photo: CFP

LinkedIn, a networking site owned by Microsoft, said on Thursday that it will end the version of its app in China and will instead launch a new job boards app called InJobs later this year.

"We've made the decision to sunset the current localized version of LinkedIn, which is how people in China access LinkedIn's global social media platform, later this year," Mohak Shroff, Senior Vice President of Engineering at LinkedIn, said on his LinkedIn account on Thursday.

"While we've found success in helping Chinese members find jobs and economic opportunities, we have not found that same level of success in the more social aspects of sharing and staying informed. We are also facing a significantly more challenging operating environment and greater compliance requirements in China," said the senior executive.

LinkedIn will launch InJobs, a new, standalone jobs application for China, later this year. "InJobs will not include a social feed or the ability to share posts or articles," LinkedIn mentioned. 

Meanwhile LinkedIn said it will also continue to work with Chinese businesses to help create economic opportunities.

"Our decision to launch a localized version of LinkedIn in China in February 2014 was driven by our mission to connect the world's professionals to make them more productive and successful and we've been providing different kinds of product values and services to members and customers over the past seven years. While we've found that job seeking is a primary reason our members in China use our localized version," said Lu Jian, LinkedIn China President, in a letter sent to the Global Times.

The sunset of the current LinkedIn app version marked the end of the last major US-operated social network operating in China.

Microsoft acquired LinkedIn in 2016.

LinkedIn announced in March that it would temporarily suspend new member signs-up in China as it works to ensure it remains in compliance with local laws.

"We are a global platform with an obligation to respect the laws that apply to us, including adhering to Chinese government regulations for our localized version [...] in China," LinkedIn said.

It also noted that the move is not related to an alleged hack on Microsoft Exchange Server, which the US company claimed was done by "state-sponsored hackers based in China".

LinkedIn entered China in 2014. By 2019, it had 44 million users in China, making it LinkedIn's third-largest user base after the US, with 150 million users, and India with 52 million, according to media reports.