Technology

Microsoft closes LinkedIn in China

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Recent data from LinkedIn shows which skills are most in demand as the job market slowly tries to regain a foothold after the sharp decline from Covid-19.

Aytac Unal | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Microsoft announced on Thursday that it would be discontinuing its local version of LinkedIn in China as the country continues to expand its censorship of the Internet.

LinkedIn was the last major American social network that was still active in China and has some of the strictest censorship rules. Social media platforms and websites like Twitter and Facebook have been banned in the country for more than a decade, while Google decided to shut down in 2010.

Microsoft announced that it will close LinkedIn due to a “significantly more difficult operating environment and higher compliance requirements in China”. Instead, Microsoft will launch a job search site in China that doesn’t have LinkedIn’s social media capabilities.

The news comes after a Chinese internet regulator ordered LinkedIn in March to better moderate its content and gave it a 30-day deadline, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

Last month, LinkedIn banned several US journalists in China and named them “prohibited content” in their profiles. According to reports, the profiles of academics and researchers on the platform in China have also been blocked in recent months.

LinkedIn was launched in China in 2014 with limited functionality that complies with the country’s stricter internet laws. The new site, called InJobs, won’t have a social feed and won’t allow users to share posts or articles.

Data from research firm Statista suggests China is LinkedIn’s third largest market. In July, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said that LinkedIn contributes about $ 10 billion to annual revenue. In 2016, Microsoft acquired LinkedIn for $ 26.2 billion.

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