Microsoft collapses LinkedIn social media service in China

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LinkedIn has shut down a version of its professional networking site operating in China, saying it marks the end of the last major American social media network operating openly in China.

LinkedIn said in a statement Thursday that it made the decision after “faced with a very difficult operating environment and stricter compliance requirements in China.”

In March, Chinese Internet regulators instructed LinkedIn officials to better regulate their content, giving them a 30-day regulation, according to people familiar with the matter. In recent months, LinkedIn has informed human rights activists, scholars and journalists focused on China: Their profile was blocked in China, Said that it contains prohibited content.

LinkedIn said it would replace China’s services, which restrict some content to comply with local government requirements, with job site services that lack social media features such as the ability to share opinions and news articles. ..

LinkedIn’s withdrawal is the latest chapter in the struggle Western Internet companies faced to run their businesses in China, which has some of the strictest censorship rules in the world.

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Facebook Of a corporation

The platform has been blocked since 2009.

alphabet Of a corporation

Google left in 2010 after refusing to censor results on search engines. Chat messenger app Signal And voice discussion app Clubhouse It was blocked this year as well.

Today’s automobiles provide high-tech capabilities and collect large amounts of data to train algorithms. As China tightens control of new technologies, the WSJ is focusing on the risks of Tesla and other global brands that are currently needed to retain data domestically.Screenshot: Tesla China

Knowledgeable Internet users in China can access these Western services using workarounds such as virtual private networks and VPNs, but many do not.

LinkedIn entered China in 2014 after making a rare concession to comply with local censorship rules. Microsoft has agreed to purchase the platform Two years later. In 2014, LinkedIn boss Jeff Weiner said that while supporting freedom of expression, providing a localized version of the service in China meant complying with local censorship requirements.

“We couldn’t achieve the same level of success in the more social aspects of sharing and disseminating information,” LinkedIn said in a statement Thursday after working in China for seven years.

Microsoft has had a difficult relationship with China. Fighted software piracy for years..

Earlier this year, software giants said they believed Chinese hacking groups were government-backed. Targeting previously unknown security flawss Email products used by businesses. Microsoft’s Bing search engine, also available in China, subsequently sparked controversy earlier this year. Blocked the iconic “Tank Man” image It is related to the 1989 Tiananmen Square Incident for users in China as well as in the United States. The company accused “accidental human error” and restored the image.

LinkedIn is one of the few glorious spots Microsoft had in China, with more than 50 million users in China. Still, the platform was under more scrutiny by regulators this year. In May, Microsoft was the only foreign company among the 105 apps called for “inappropriate data collection” by Chinese internet regulators, and both LinkedIn and Bing were listed. ..

Microsoft president Brad Smith told journalists in September that China accounts for less than 2% of tech companies’ revenues, a percentage that has declined over the past few years.

Chinese company crackdown

Write to Stu Woo at And in Lizarin

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Microsoft collapses LinkedIn social media service in China

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