Microsoft says it will remove LinkedIn from China, no longer making the business social media network available in the country. In its place, a new InJobs app is launching. If you are at all familiar with the relationship between tech companies and China, you probably already know the reason why.
Yes, Microsoft is pulling LinkedIn because some aspects of the app do not comply with draconian Chinese regulations. Instead of making changes, Microsoft will simply remove the app altogether.
This ends a 7-year run for LinkedIn in China. The app entered the country in 2014, before Microsoft paid $26 billion to acquire the company. For the most part, the experience in China was the same as the app in other regions.
If you are familiar with Chinese laws, that is quite an achievement. In China, the government wants to have access to apps and prevents a lot of features in many platforms. Microsoft says keeping up with Chinese regulations is becoming more work than is worth it. Specifically, the company is finding it increasingly difficult to keep LinkedIn the same as other markets:
“While we’ve found success in helping Chinese members find jobs and economic opportunity, we have not found that same level of success in the more social aspects of sharing and staying informed. We’re also 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,” Microsoft says.
Considering social and sharing aspects of LinkedIn are the most fundamental, removing the app makes sense. Instead of use a service with the LinkedIn branding, Microsoft says it will launch a new service called InJobs.
Think of this as a simpler version of LinkedIn that acts solely as a jobs platform. The app will launch by the end of the year:
“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,” Microsoft adds.
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