LinkedIn to end service in China, citing “difficult” environment

SEATTLE – LinkedIn said Thursday it was shutting down its professional networking service in China later this year, citing “a much harsher operating environment and stricter compliance requirements.”

The service, which is owned by Microsoft, said it will offer a new app focused solely on job postings in China. The new app will not have social networking features like sharing posts and comments, which have been critical to LinkedIn’s success in the United States and elsewhere.

LinkedIn has long been the only major American social network to operate in China. Twitter and Facebook have been blocked in the country.

But to do business in China, LinkedIn censored messages made by its millions of Chinese users under Chinese law, which other US companies were often reluctant or unable to do.

In March, the Chinese Internet regulator reprimanded LinkedIn for failing to control political content, three people briefed on the matter said at the time. Officials have asked LinkedIn to conduct a self-assessment and report to the Cyberspace Administration of China, the country’s internet regulator. The service was also forced to suspend new user registrations in China for 30 days.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

LinkedIn to end service in China, citing “difficult” environment

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