On Thursday, LinkedIn announced it would shut down the local version of its services in China later this year and launch a job search site in the country, but without LinkedIn’s social functions. However, LinkedIn’s official Weibo account responded that reports that it was closing its services in China were false.
The career networking platform, owned by Microsoft, made the decision because of a “significantly more challenging operating environment and greater compliance requirements in China,” Mohak Shroff, Senior Vice President of engineering at LinkedIn, said in a blog post Thursday.
“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,” Shroff said.
However, LinkedIn China’s official Weibo said that it will adjust its strategy and release a series of new products and services within this year. The letter it released to members noted that they will focus on providing connection between job seekers and companies, and will no longer cover the publishing and interactive function.
LinkedIn is a global social recruitment platform for the workplace, covering 774 million members across more than 200 countries and regions around the world. On February 25, 2014, LinkedIn went online in China and launched a simplified mainland version, which has been in operation for seven years. Microsoft bought LinkedIn for $26.2 billion in 2016. After the acquisition, LinkedIn has retained its original brand, corporate culture and operational independence.
CNBC reported that China is LinkedIn’s third largest market, citing online statistics platform Statista. In July of this year, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said that LinkedIn’s annual revenue was about $10 billion. However, on March 9 this year, LinkedIn China issued a notice on its official website, suspending the registration of new Chinese users on the grounds of “abiding by the law.”