LinkedIn ends its localized version of China

The localized version of LinkedIn will stop working in China. The announcement comes after a long history of control and censorship required by the government of the Asian country and allowed by Microsoft so that its business interconnection platform could continue to operate within the communist borders.

In an official statement, the social network says it made the decision to stop operating in China after “facing a significantly more challenging operating environment and higher compliance requirements.” He also notes that they did not find the level of success waiting to connect people and help them be more productive.

The truth is that the number of LinkedIn users in China is surprisingly high. According to data from Statista, Microsoft’s business social network has an approximate of 50 million users in that country and is located only behind India, with 78 million, and the United States, with 180 million.

But how can LinkedIn have such a presence in China if foreign platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram can’t even set foot there? The answer is simple: give up freedom of expression because of government-imposed Internet censorship.

LinkedIn was the only US platform that, with its localized version, complied with the orders of the Chinese state to restrict content posted by users. The company discreetly expresses it in the statement with the following words.

“We recognized that operating a localized version of LinkedIn in China would mean meeting the Chinese government’s requirements on Internet platforms. While we strongly support freedom of expression, we take this approach to create value for our members in China and around the world. “.


LinkedIn, China and a point of no turning back

Maneuvers to curb the freedom of expression of LinkedIn users in China peaked about two months ago. The moderation system blocked the profiles of several American journalists in the Asian country, citing “prohibited content“.

This behavior continued with academics, researchers, and a large number of people of different nationalities using the localized version. “For members whose profile visibility is limited within China, their profiles are still visible in the rest of the world where LinkedIn is available,” the company explained.

The red light did not take long to turn on and some organizations that defend freedom of expression showed their concern at the censorship. Suzanne Nossel of PEN America said that “if LinkedIn’s behavior is normalized, it sends a message to companies around the world that it is normal to enforce Beijing’s demands for censorship globally.”

After seven years operating in China, LinkedIn decided to end an increasingly difficult situation to sustain. The firm says that when they began operating in 2014 in that country they established a set of guidelines. These were intended to provide guidance to follow in the event that they ever had to reevaluate their localized version.

The day has arrived and with a sharp definition. While LinkedIn as such will cease to have life, the company prepares InJobs, a new freelance employment app for China. This will not include a social channel or the ability to share posts or articles.