LinkedIn will be shut down by Microsoft in China this year due to ‘challenging’ government restrictions, the tech giant announced yesterday.
Once the only major Western social network to be active in China, LinkedIn will now be dismantled in favour of a new, jobs-only website called ‘InJobs’.
It won’t feature a social feed or let users share posts and articles, as LinkedIn users are currently able to do.
The news was announced by LinkedIn’s senior vice-president Mohak Shroff in a blog post yesterday.
He said that it was becoming ‘significantly more challenging’ to operate in China, as the professional social media network was forced to launch its own local version of LinkedIn in order to comply with heavy government limits and restrictions.
“We recognised that operating a localized version of LinkedIn in China would mean adherence to requirements of the Chinese government on Internet platforms,” he said.
He added: “While we’ve found success in helping Chinese members find jobs and economic opportunity, we have not found the same level of success in the more social aspects of sharing and staying informed.”
As a result, LinkedIn will retire its localised network in China and roll out the InJobs platform instead.
China heavily restricts the Internet and social media of its citizens. Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube are all banned in the country, with people forced to use heavily-monitored domestic platforms such as Weibo.
Many Chinese citizens get around censorship and monitoring by using VPNs which ‘spoof’ computer addresses as being outside of China.
This year, China has been extending its technology crackdown. Most recently, access to video games was heavily restricted for the under-18s, who are allowed to play for just three hours per week as the government clamps down on what it calls ‘digital drugs’.
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