Microsoft is shutting down LinkedIn in China

October 14, 2021, 3:15 PM UTC

Microsoft is pulling the plug on LinkedIn in China, following interference from the government in that country.

The company has been under pressure from Chinese officials to better moderate its content since March. Several U.S. journalists were blocked in China recently due to “prohibited content” in their profiles. LinkedIn cited a “significantly more challenging operating environment and greater compliance requirements in China” as the reasons for the move.

In its place, Microsoft plans to start a new platform called InJobs, which will not have a social feed or allow users to share articles. LinkedIn was the last U.S.-owned social media platform still operating in China.

“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,” the company said in a blog post.

LinkedIn launched a localized version in China seven years ago, which had fewer features than the familiar U.S. version. Those omissions were not enough for Chinese officials in the long run, however.

Local officials weren’t the only ones wary of LinkedIn in China. In 2018, the U.S. government expressed concerns China was using the service to enlist American spies.

Microsoft bought LinkedIn in 2016, two years after the launch in China, for $26.2 billion. It now contributes roughly $10 billion per year to Microsoft’s revenues.

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