Microsoft is closing its LinkedIn product in China and developing a new version of the platform that will follow the rules of the Chinese Communist Party.
The new version of LinkedIn for China, InJobs, will help people find jobs, but the company said Thursday it “will not include social feeds or the ability to share posts or articles.”
Microsoft’s surrender to Chinese restrictions on free speech for its social media platform follows reports that journalists received messages earlier this year from LinkedIn saying the company is censoring their content in China .
“Although we have been successful in helping Chinese members find jobs and economic opportunities, we have not found the same level of success in the more social aspects of sharing and information,” Mohak Shroff wrote, Senior Vice President of Engineering at LinkedIn. the company’s blog. “We also face a significantly more difficult operating environment and more stringent compliance requirements in China. In light of this, we’ve made the decision to end the current localized version of LinkedIn, which is how people in China access LinkedIn’s global social media platform, later this year.
The new platform that doesn’t allow people to share information is a new direction for LinkedIn.
In June, Federalist lead contributor Benjamin Weingarten posted a screenshot of a post from LinkedIn indicating that his LinkedIn profile and activity would not be visible to those accessing LinkedIn from China due to the “requirements. legal ”issued by the communist regime. Mr. Weingarten share the post on Twitter and called it “amazing, but totally believable.”
In September, Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian of Axios published Twitter received a similar message from LinkedIn warning him that his profile was being censored due to “banned content” in his profile.
Florida Republican Senator Rick Scott wrote to CEOs of LinkedIn and Microsoft in September to question his censorship of journalists.
“Censorship of these journalists raises serious questions about Microsoft’s intentions and its commitment to tackle the horrific human rights violations and repeated attacks on democracy in Communist China,” Scott wrote in the letter.
While LinkedIn has sought to maintain a presence in China, other social media platforms such as Facebook have avoided operating there.
People who use social media in China face very different consequences for criticizing the government than in America. Last week, Chinese police arrested former journalist Luo Changping for a social media comment questioning Beijing’s role in the Korean War, which was the basis of a new film launched in China, according to the New York Times.
Mr. Luo’s account on the Weibo technology platform was blocked, his post deleted, and Mr. Luo was reportedly indicted under a new law cracking down on defamation of political martyrs.
LinkedIn has announced that its new InJobs platform will launch in China later this year.