As regulations tighten, Microsoft is shutting down LinkedIn in China.
Microsoft announced on Thursday that it will shut down LinkedIn, a career-oriented social network in China, citing a “difficult operating environment” as Beijing tightens its grip on technology companies.
According to senior vice president of engineering Mohak Shroff, the US-based company will replace LinkedIn in China with an application targeted to applying for jobs but without the networking capabilities.
In a blog post, Shroff stated, “We’re… facing a substantially more demanding operating climate and increased compliance requirements in China.”
According to the Wall Street Journal, Chinese internet regulators have given LinkedIn a deadline to improve its content oversight.
LinkedIn, which debuted in China in 2014, allows users to search for jobs based on their personal and professional connections.
Authorities in China have been scrutinizing a number of domestic tech behemoths for alleged monopolistic behavior and aggressive data gathering.
The campaign is part of a broader government strategy to strengthen its control on the world’s second largest economy, which includes a focus on private education, real estate, and casinos.
According to Shroff, Microsoft will “sunset” the China version of LinkedIn and build an InJobs program targeted to connecting connected professionals in China with employers seeking jobs.
Despite concerns about online censorship, Microsoft purchased LinkedIn for slightly more than $26 billion in 2016 and has pushed to establish a presence in China.
For more than a decade, Facebook and Twitter have been prohibited in China.
In reaction to a cyber attack and censorship, Google left the nation in 2010.
Although Amazon’s website is available in China, the market there is dominated by local firms such as Alibaba and JD.com.