Linkedin-Zentrale in Mountain View
Parent company Microsoft is withdrawing its career network from China.
Düsseldorf The US technology group Microsoft is withdrawing from China with its LinkedIn career network. The company indirectly blamed the Chinese censorship regulations for the withdrawal. In a blog entry Microsoft writes of a “significantly more challenging work environment and greater compliance requirements”.
This makes LinkedIn the last major social network from the USA to say goodbye to the world’s largest Internet market, China. Facebook, Twitter and Google are blocked in the People’s Republic.
Chinese cyber supervision subjects all active social networks in the country to strict censorship regulations. At the start of LinkedIn in China in 2014, Microsoft had already admitted that it wanted to adhere to the local guidelines.
“We had accepted that running a localized version of LinkedIn in China would mean compliance with the Chinese government’s requirements for Internet platforms,” the blog post said. Recently, however, the environment has become even more difficult. However, Microsoft did not give an exact reason for the withdrawal.
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During the past weeks and months, international human rights activists and journalists had reported that their profiles had been censored by Microsoft in China. The journalist Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian from the US portal “Axios” had made a message from LinkedIn public in which she was informed that her profile had been classified as “not acceptable for China”. Allen-Ebrahimian reports, among other things, on China’s Internet economy.
US Senator Rick Scott then criticized Microsoft and its subsidiary LinkedIn in an open letter. “I am deeply concerned that an American company is actively censoring American journalists on behalf of the Chinese Communist Party,” Scott wrote.
Linkedin initially defended the censorship of the profiles of journalists and human rights activists. “We are a global platform that adheres to the laws that apply to us. That includes compliance with the Chinese government regulations for our localized version of Linkedin in China, ”the company replied.
Now, however, the group evidently took the necessary steps. Pressure from both the US and Chinese authorities seems to have made the platform more and more difficult to operate economically.
With Linkedin, one of the few direct exchange platforms between the Chinese business world and international partners is disappearing. Microsoft only announced that it would start a pure job exchange for China “later this year”. Details remained unclear at first.