Microsoft announced on Oct. 14 that it would shut down the local version of LinkedIn in China. This is after the country expanded its censorship of the internet.
Microsoft to Shut Down LinkedIn in China
LinkedIn was the last social network that the United States operated in China. The Asian country is known to have some of the strictest censorship rules in the world.
Social media platforms and websites such as Facebook and Twitter have been permanently blocked in the country, while Google seized its operations in 2010, according to The Verge.
Microsoft stated that it would shut down LinkedIn because of the challenging operating environment and the compliance requirements in China.
The company will launch a job search site in the country that does not have the social media features of LinkedIn.
The news comes after an internet regulator from China told LinkedIn back in March to moderate its content. The company was given 30 days to fix its interface, according to The Wall Street Journal.
In September, the company blocked several US journalists in China, stating that it blocked them because of their profiles' prohibited content.
Researchers' profiles and academics have been blocked on the social media platform in China in the past couple of months.
LinkedIn was first introduced in China back in 2014. However, it had limited features so that it would adhere to the strict internet laws in the country.
The new social media site, called InJobs, will not have a social feed, and it will not allow users to share articles or share posts.
The data from research firm Statista shows that China is LinkedIn's third-largest market. In July, Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft, said that the social media platform contributes $10 billion in annual revenue.
Microsoft bought LinkedIn in 2016 for a total of $26.2 billion.
China's Strict Internet Policy
Since 2009, Facebook and Twitter have been blocked in China, and Google was forced to move its operations from China to Hong Kong in 2010.
Meanwhile, Microsoft has cleaned the search results on Bing and offered a customized version of Windows 10 in the country.
However, the Chinese government has launched a crackdown on numerous tech companies, especially those under gaming, cryptocurrency, and ride-sharing.
This caused Microsoft to reevaluate its LinkedIn operations. Apple, on the other hand, still operates in the country without any constraints.
China banned cryptocurrency in the country earlier this week, particularly Bitcoin mining. Mining needs massive computing power, which uses massive amounts of electricity and contributes to global emissions.
According to BBC, Bitcoin consumes 0.45% of the electricity production in the world. The mining distribution will affect the energy sources used to mine Bitcoins, and it may be either renewables or fossil fuels.
China is also very strict with gaming. The country has barred online gamers who are minors from playing on weekdays.
The Chinese government also limited the playtime of minors to three hours on weekends in their attempt to combat gaming addiction among children.
This article is owned by Tech Times
Written by Sophie Webster