LinkedIn is closing down its social networking site in China, marking the departure of the last major US social media company from the country.
The Microsoft-owned company announced on Thursday that it was closing down the localised version of its popular networking website after “facing a significantly more challenging operating environment and greater compliance requirements in China”.
LinkedIn has 53m users in China, making up about 7 per cent of its total user base. Microsoft does not disclose how much of China contributes to LinkedIn’s revenues, which Microsoft recently said had passed an annual level of $10bn.
The company said it would replace the Chinese version of its website with a new job-board service called “InJobs”, without any of the social media functions of the full LinkedIn site. On this stripped-back version, Chinese users will not be able to share posts or news articles.
LinkedIn was called in by the country’s internet regulator in March and ordered to clean up its online content. In the same month, LinkedIn said it was “temporarily pausing new member sign-ups for LinkedIn China” as it tried to become compliant “with local law”.
Several human-rights activists and writers who focused on China have had their profiles blocked in the country in recent months for posting “prohibited content” according to the company.