Microsoft will cut LinkedIn’s links with China: ‘One company, two systems’ is untenable

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LinkedIn is an American business and employment-oriented online service that operates via websites and mobile apps. Launched on May 5, 2003, the platform is primarily used for professional networking and career development, and allows job seekers to post their CVs and employers to post jobs. Wikipedia

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Microsoft Folds LinkedIn Social-Media Service in China

LinkedIn cites challenging operating environment, as retreat marks the biggest departure from China by a major tech company in years

Liza Lin and Stu Woo

By and Updated Oct. 14, 2021 2:17 pm ET

Microsoft Corp.’s MSFT 2.17% LinkedIn said it would shut the version of its professional-networking site that operates in China, marking the end of the last major American social-media network operating openly in the country.

LinkedIn, in a statement Thursday, said that it made the decision after “facing a significantly more challenging operating environment and greater compliance requirements in China.”

Microsoft’s move comes at a time when China’s Communist Party is ratcheting up its control over its largest tech companies, private enterprises and online commentary, as it continues a campaign to assert itself more forcefully across the economy and Chinese society.

In March, LinkedIn said it would be temporarily pausing new member sign ups in China as it ensured it was in compliance with local law. Around the same time, China’s internet regulator told LinkedIn officials to better regulate its content and gave them 30 days to do so, according to people familiar with the matter. In recent months, LinkedIn notified several China-focused human-right activists, academics and journalists that their profiles were being blocked in China, saying they contained prohibited content.

LinkedIn said it would replace its Chinese service, which restricts some content to comply with local government demands, with a job-board service lacking social-media features, such as the ability to share opinions and news stories.

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