US multinational technology firm Microsoft is shutting down its social network, LinkedIn, in China, saying having to comply with the Chinese state has become increasingly difficult. In a blog post, LinkedIn senior vice-president Mohak Shroff on Thursday said the company is facing a “significantly more challenging operating environment and greater compliance requirements in China.” “Given this, we’ve made the decision to sunset the current localized version of LinkedIn, which is how people in China access LinkedIn’s global social media platform, later this year,” Shroff said.
The comes after the company faced backlash for blocking the profiles of some journalists. The career-networking site will instead roll out a new platform called “InJobs”, a China-only portal that will “not include a social feed or the ability to share posts or articles”.
“InJobs will not include a social feed or the ability to share posts or articles. We will also continue to work with Chinese businesses to help them create economic opportunity. This decision aligns with our commitment to creating economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce.”
In the past year, the regulatory screws have further tightened in the country, CNN reported. A regulatory crackdown in recent months has wiped an estimated USD 3 trillion off the market value of China’s biggest firms, the report by the US television channel added.
Earlier, LinkedIn suspended new user sign-ups in China to “ensure we remain in compliance with local law”. Later, the US company had declined to elaborate on which local law it was examining.
“We recognized that operating a localized version of LinkedIn in China would mean adherence to requirements of the Chinese government on internet platforms,” Shroff said on Thursday. “While we strongly support freedom of expression, we took this approach in order to create value for our members in China and around the world.”