LinkedIn to End Service in China, Citing ‘Challenging’ Environment

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SEATTLE — LinkedIn said on Thursday that it was shutting down its professional networking service in China later this year, citing “a significantly more challenging operating environment and greater compliance requirements.”

The service, which is owned by Microsoft, said it would offer a new app focused solely on job postings in China. The new app will not have social networking features such as sharing posts and commenting, which have been critical to LinkedIn’s success in the United States and elsewhere.

LinkedIn had long been the only major American social network that operated in China. Twitter and Facebook have been blocked in the country.

But to do business in China, LinkedIn censored the posts made by its millions of Chinese users in accordance with Chinese laws, something that other American companies were often reluctant or unable to do.

In March, China’s internet regulator rebuked LinkedIn for failing to control political content, three people briefed on the matter said at the time. Officials required LinkedIn to perform a self-evaluation and offer a report to the Cyberspace Administration of China, the country’s internet regulator. The service was also forced to suspend new sign-ups of users inside China for 30 days.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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