Microsoft is shutting down the Chinese model of LinkedIn after going through scrutiny for censoring lecturers and journalists on the behest of the Chinese authorities.
LinkedIn China will likely be changed with a standalone product referred to as “InJobs” that’s separate from LinkedIn, the company mentioned Thursday.
Head of engineering Mohak Shroff said in a blog post that “a significantly more challenging operating environment and greater compliance requirements in China” contributed to the choice to can LinkedIn China.
The transfer marks the tip of the final main American social community formally working in China and comes as LinkedIn faces rising scrutiny over its compliance with Chinese authorities censors.
In September, Axios reported that LinkedIn blocked Chinese customers from viewing the profiles of a number of US journalists who’ve written critically in regards to the Chinese authorities.
And in June, the Wall Street Journal reported that LinkedIn had censored profiles or posts from not less than 11 lecturers, journalists and political staffers.
LinkedIn mentioned the strikes had been required to stick to Chinese authorities guidelines.
The company’s new Chinese product, InJobs, seems to be designed to reduce controversy.
The new web site won’t embody a social feed or the power to share posts or articles, the company mentioned.
“Our new strategy for China is to put our focus on helping China-based professionals find jobs in China and Chinese companies find quality candidates,” wrote Shroff.
Yaqiu Wang, a senior China researcher at Human Rights Watch, praised the choice.
“Microsoft finally realized that if it chose to stay in China, there would be no end to the groveling and complicity in censorship, and it’s better just cut the losses and exit,” the researcher wrote on Twitter.