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LinkedIn closes Chinese site

LinkedIn has shut down China’s social networking site, indicating that the last major US social media company has withdrawn from the country.

A Microsoft-owned company announced Thursday that it will shut down a localized version of its popular networking website after “faced with a very demanding operating environment and more stringent compliance requirements in China.”

LinkedIn has 53 million users in China, accounting for about 7% of the total user base. Microsoft hasn’t disclosed how much China is contributing to LinkedIn’s revenue. $ 10 billion annual level..

The company said it would replace the Chinese version of the website with a new job board service called “In Jobs” without using any of the full LinkedIn site’s social media features. This stripback version will prevent Chinese users from sharing posts and news articles.

LinkedIn was called by the country’s Internet regulatory agency in March and ordered to clean up its online content. In the same month, LinkedIn said it was “temporarily suspending new member registration with LinkedIn China” because it tried to comply with “local law.”

According to the company, some Chinese-focused human rights activists and writers have been blocked in China in recent months for posting “banned content.”

The move is as US companies face rising domestic political pressure on all operations in China that appear to be helping Beijing engage in all sorts of surveillance and political crackdowns.

U.S. parliamentarians have expressed concern about companies that appear to be self-censoring to avoid backlash from Beijing, for example, removing critical statements about forced labor in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region from their websites. increase.

“It’s good for LinkedIn to stop global censorship on behalf of CCP. [Chinese Communist party]But building a special censorship tool for the Chinese market instead is not the solution, “said Michael McCaul, a top Republican member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “US companies must refuse to collusion with the crackdown on CCP for market access.”

Parliamentarians have also expressed concern about the security of personal data for US citizens as China enforces rules and legislation that facilitate the acquisition of personal data from private companies.

Parliament is pressing companies not to help China take anti-democratic action, but the Biden administration warns companies that there is an increased risk of doing business in mainland China and Hong Kong. ing.

In July, the State Department warned U.S. companies that they faced serious risks of doing business in Hong Kong to crack down on financial center freedom in the same way that the Chinese government put pressure on mainland companies. ..

LinkedIn’s decision strained Washington-Beijing relations over US concerns about China’s political repression and human rights records, and China’s concerns that the United States is interfering with issues related to Taiwan, Xinjiang, and Hong Kong. It also happens because it remains.

LinkedIn closes Chinese site

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