LinkedIn puts a definitive end to its Chinese adventure
LinkedIn is definitely leaving the ship. The professional social network, owned by Microsoft since 2016…
LinkedIn is definitely leaving the ship. The professional social network, owned by Microsoft since 2016 , announced on Tuesday the upcoming end of its latest application available in China, called InCareer. “After careful consideration, we have made the decision to end InCareer as of August 9, 2023,” the social network said in a statement.
Faced with a multitude of particularly innovative local applications, that of LinkedIn could not impose itself. “Despite our initial progress, InCareer faced fierce competition and a difficult macroeconomic climate, which ultimately led us to make the decision to discontinue service” in China, explains LinkedIn.
Dissident accounts removed
The Chinese adventure of the social network had however started well. Present in China since 2014 With a version adapted to the local market, LinkedIn had experienced rapid growth in the country, favored by a network culture where professional relations hold a primordial place. The computer giant was also one of the few American internet companies to have succeeded in imposing a social network in China despite censorship and strict local regulations.
To survive in this complicated market, Microsoft had chosen to comply, through a local joint venture, with these draconian rules. In recent years, the social network has been criticized for removing dissident accounts and erasing politically sensitive content from its pages.
A “difficult” operating environment
But in 2021, the group signed its first setback in the Chinese market: citing a “difficult operating environment” and “greater requirements in terms of compliance with current regulations”, the champion of professional contacts had made its LinkedIn application inaccessible in mainland China.
LinkedIn had been replaced by a simplified local version, called InCareer, which allowed local professionals to continue to find and apply for jobs as well as stay connected with their network. But this new version obviously failed to convince the Chinese.
Tech giants banned from the country
Microsoft was the last American tech stalwart to have a legal and sustained presence on the Chinese internet. Pushed to block all unwanted content and topics considered politically sensitive online, the other tech giants have deserted the country for many years.
Social networks Facebook and Twitter have been banned for more than a decade. Google left China in 2010. Amazon remains accessible from China but without succeeding in breaking into a market dominated by local players like Alibaba.