Microsoft has decided to close its LinkedIn social network in China. According to the company, their reason for making this decision is that it is increasingly difficult for them to comply with the demands and conditions imposed by the Chinese government. The final straw came when China asked the platform to close the profiles of several critical journalists.
LinkedIn will close the social network in China and will replace it with a platform for job offers without social interaction and without the possibility of sharing articles
LinkedIn now plans to launch in China, by the end of the year, a job offers platform that will call InJobs. But that platform will not allow social interaction nor will it be possible to publish and share articles. In this way, LinkedIn will continue to have a presence in China, but with a new version that will avoid having problems with the regime.
Until now, LinkedIn was the only Western social network operating in China. When it started operating in the Asian country, in 2014, LinkedIn accepted all the conditions imposed by the government to maintain its activity. But, at the same time, he promised that he would be transparent and accountable for what his procedures were in the country.
However, the social network has received accusations of cooperating with the repressive policies of the Chinese authorities. At the beginning of the year, British journalist and researcher Peter Humphrey posted comments on LinkedIn. In them he argued that China is “a repressive dictatorship” and its media “spokesmen for propaganda.”
A few weeks later, Humphrey received notifications on his LinkedIn profile informing him that his posts against the government and Chinese state television were constituting “harassment and humiliation” or “fraud”. On April 26, Humphrey wanted to access his LinkedIn profile, but his account had been “restricted.” The reason was that he had violated “our Terms of Service.”
And Humphrey’s was not the first profile suspended for publishing information uncomfortable for the Chinese authorities by the platform. A worker from the NGO Human Rights Watch, who does not reside in China, assures that her account was removed in February from the Chinese version of LinkedIn for sharing “prohibited content”. In the message it received from LinkedIn, the company acknowledged that it must “comply with the requirements of the Chinese government.” In addition, it assured him that his account would be restored if he deleted certain information from his profile.