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Microsoft announces the closure of LinkedIn in China

Microsoft announced the shutdown of its LinkedIn service in China later this year after Beijing tightened internet rules, making it the latest U.S. tech giant to cut ties with the country.

The company said in a blog post Thursday that it was facing “a significantly more difficult operating environment and stricter compliance requirements in China.” Earlier this year, China’s internet regulator informed LinkedIn that it needed to better regulate its content and gave the service 30 days to make changes, the Wall Street Journal reported.

LinkedIn will replace its platform located in China with a new app called InJobs which has some of LinkedIn’s career networking features but “will not include social feeds or the ability to share posts or articles.”

“Although we have been successful in helping Chinese members find jobs and economic opportunities, we have not found the same level of success in the more social aspects of sharing and information,” LinkedIn said in the post. blog.

Other tech giants that have scaled back their business in China include Google, which pulled out of mainland China in 2010; and Twitter, which is officially blocked in the country.

LinkedIn announced in March that it would suspend new member registrations on LinkedIn China due to unspecified regulatory issues. The Chinese internet watchdog said in May it discovered that LinkedIn, along with Microsoft’s Bing search engine and around 100 other apps, were involved in inappropriate data collection and use, and ordered them to fix the problem. problem.

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This year, several researchers also reported receiving warning letters from LinkedIn saying they were sharing “banned content” that would not be visible in China but could be seen by LinkedIn users elsewhere.

In 2014, LinkedIn launched a site in Simplified Chinese, the written characters used on the mainland, to expand its reach in the country. He said at the time that its expansion into China raised “tough questions,” forcing LinkedIn to censor content, but the company promised it would be clear on how it does business in China and take ” extensive measures “to protect the rights and data of members. .

Microsoft bought LinkedIn in 2016.

Google pulled its search engine from mainland China in 2010 after the government began censoring search results and videos on YouTube.