LinkedIn to Stop Conducting Business in China Due to Hostile Environment

LinkedIn to Stop Conducting Business in China Due to Hostile Environment

(ReliableNews.org) – When a person thinks about China, several facts might come to mind, including negative ones. Not to mention that the Chinese Communist Party runs the country, including business practices. Recently, LinkedIn learned the hard way that China’s business environment isn’t welcoming or friendly for anyone wanting to engage in the free market.

LinkedIn Pulls Out

On Thursday, October 14, Microsoft’s LinkedIn announced it would pull its professional networking service out of China in late 2021. The app, which allows business professionals to connect, is extremely popular in the United States and elsewhere. Unfortunately, like many networking platforms, it ran right up against the communist government in China.

LinkedIn explained it decided to leave China because of “a significantly more challenging operating environment and greater compliance requirements.” In 2014, business analysts applauded the company for its ability to operate in the communist nation. A New York Times article at the time said LinkedIn was providing a blueprint for other Big Tech giants to do business in the country. Less than a decade later, that’s proven nearly impossible.

Now, LinkedIn is going to develop an app that is exclusively for the Chinese market. It will focus only on job listings and won’t have any of the social media features found in its Western version.

A Lesson Learned by Many

LinkedIn isn’t the only tech platform to stop operating in China. The government has banned both Facebook and Twitter for years. The Chinese government’s strict censorship practices have made it nearly impossible for citizens to use social media apps like much of the world routinely does.

Facebook was reportedly blocked in China in 2009 after rioting in Urumqi, Xinjiang. Independence activists were allegedly using the social media platform to communicate with each other, and when the government caught on, it demanded the company hand over the identities of its users. When Facebook refused, China banned it.

Twitter is also banned, and earlier this year, The Wall Street Journal reported people were jailed for finding a way around the ban. Government authorities have sent roughly 50 people to prison for their use of the website. Many of them are ordinary people, not activists.

LinkedIn decided to pull its social media platform out of the communist nation on more of the same ongoing government restrictions.

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