LinkedIn shuts down InCareer service in China amid rising competition
Published: Aug 10, 2023 12:31 AM
Photo: Screenshot from website

Photo: Screenshot from website

LinkedIn, the US-based social media network owned by Microsoft Corp, has officially closed InCareer, its local jobs app in China, starting from Wednesday. The move comes amid increasingly intense competition in the Chinese internet market. 

The closure was announced months ago, when LinkedIn said in a statement it sent to the Global Times that it planned to phase out InCareer in China and cut payrolls in the country after encountering "fierce competition" in the market.

"Though InCareer experienced some success in the past year thanks to our strong China-based team, it also encountered fierce competition," company CEO Ryan Roslansky said in an email to LinkedIn employees.

The company said it will continue to have a presence in China and will shift its local business focus to assisting companies operating in China in finding skilled international talent and marketing their products and services overseas.

The reshuffle comes as no surprise and is seen as almost inevitable as LinkedIn "has not done a good job" compared with its Chinese competitors such as and BOSS Zhipin, Zhang Hong, a veteran internet industry observer, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

Zhang noted that the move by LinkedIn reflects a common problem for many foreign businesses who want to seek expansion in China, adding that they need to know about China consumers and local user habits. They also need to adapt to China's fast-changing mobile internet environment.

InCareer was launched on December 14, 2022, which means it has only been online for 146 days, less than half a year. 

According to the South China Morning Post, since the launch of InCareer, the app has languished far behind rival domestic platforms. It had 959,600 monthly active users in March, according to market research firm Analysys. By comparison, 51job had 18.5 million users that month, Boss Zhipin had 17.3 million, while Liepin had 6.7 million. 

Prior to the latest move, LinkedIn had been downsizing its operations in China. In October 2021, LinkedIn China announced that it would shut down the user-generated content publishing and interaction, as well as some core application functions, according to media reports.

China's Internet recruitment industry is likely to experience rapid growth this year. According to data from iiMedia Research, China's Internet recruitment industry will have a year-on-year growth rate of 15.1 percent in 2023, the highest growth in the past five years.