Professional networking platform LinkedIn announced on Thursday that it will shut down its service in China.
The platform, which is owned by Microsoft, expanded to China in 2014.
“We recognized that operating a localized version of LinkedIn in China would mean adherence to requirements of the Chinese government on Internet platforms. 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. We also established a clear set of guidelines to follow should we ever need to re-evaluate our localized version of LinkedIn in China.”
In a blog on its website, the platform said the shutdown was caused by “a significantly more challenging operating environment and greater compliance requirements.”
LinkedIn will not completely shut down its operations in China, however. The platform said it would offer a new app for the Chinese market focused only on job postings, and the app will not have sharing and commenting features like it does in the United States.
“Our new strategy for China is to put our focus on helping China-based professionals find jobs in China and Chinese companies find quality candidates,” the blog continued. “Later this year, we will launch InJobs, a new, standalone jobs application for China. 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.”
U.S. companies have faced challenges when responding to China’s authoritarianism.
Eileen Donahoe, the executive director of the Global Digital Policy Incubator at Stanford University and a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Council, discussed the “dilemma” private companies are facing.
“It has gotten pretty ugly around the world where authoritarian governments are forcing the private sector, particularly U.S. tech companies, into these dilemmas,” she said.
Earlier in the year, Newsbusters reported that Facebook was deliberately censoring news about the harsh realities of the Communist government:
“Facebook accounts run by Chinese state-controlled media have used videos, images and commentary about Uyghurs to construct a narrative of happiness and economic achievement. China has also used its state media’s presence on Facebook to justify its arbitrary detentions and other genocidal actions on Facebook by framing them as help. A post from China Plus Culture retold the alleged story of “a young Uyghur woman” who “walked away from a life of violence and extremism thanks to one of China's vocational education and training centers.”