LinkedIn To Shutter China Site, Cut 716 Jobs

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Microsoft-owned business social network LinkedIn to close remaining China job application service, cut 716 jobs amidst tougher regulation

Microsoft-owned business social network LinkedIn is to shutter its remaining service in China amidst a tougher regulatory environment, and strong local competition, a move that will contribute to a loss of 716 jobs at the company out of its global workforce of 20,000.

The firm established a localised version of LinkedIn in China in 2014 that it closed in 2021, replacing it with a pared-down job application site called InCareer.

At the time LinkedIn cited “significantly more challenging operating environment and greater compliance requirements” as being behind the move to close its local LinkedIn site.

On Tuesday on its official WeChat account LinkedIn said it had made “initial progress” with InCareer over the past year but that the service has faced “increasingly fierce competition and macroeconomic challenges”.

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Image credit: Vojtech Okenka/Pexels

Local competition

The service is to close on 9 August, but LinkedIn said it would retain a presence in China to help local organisations hire and train employees outside the country.

InCareer does not offer social features such as a feed or the ability to share posts or articles.

LinkedIn once had tens of millions of regular users, but has been surpassed in popularity by local services such as recruitment platform Boss Zhipin and social network Maimai.

LinkedIn chief executive Ryan Roslansky said in a letter to employees on Monday that the firm would cut 716 jobs worldwide, including the product and engineering teams in China.

Official scrutiny

LinkedIn has been the only major Western social media platform operating in China, after agreeing to adhere to Chinese government regulations as a condition of its 2014 launch.

Similar to other Western firms operating in China, such as Apple, the company faced criticism for agreeing to work with the Chinese government.

More recently a new counter-espionage law has led Chinese authorities to increase scrutiny of Western firms amidst increasing tensions with the United States.