Friday, 03 February 2023

Microsoft LinkedIn app shutting down in China

Microsoft LinkedIn app shutting down in China

Microsoft is shutting down its leading LinkedIn services in China later this year after internet rules were hardened up by Beijing, the latest American tech giant, to lessen its ties to the country.

In a blog post on Thursday, the co said it has faced a

“notably more challenging operating environment and greater agreement requirement in China.”

LinkedIn will replace its localized platforms in China with a new app called InJobs. It has some of LinkedIn’s career network features but

“will not include a social feeds or the ability to share articles or posts.”

LinkedIn said it would pause new member sign-ups on LinkedIn China in March because of unspecified regulatory issues. In May, China’s internet watchdog said it had found LinkedIn and Microsoft’s Bing search engine, and about 100 other apps were engaged in the improper collection and use of data and ordered them to fix the problem.

This year, several scholars also reported getting warning letters from LinkedIn that they are sharing “prohibited contentd” that would not be made viewable in China but could still be seen by LinkedIn users elsewhere.

Microsoft LinkedIn app shutting down in Chinaunsplash image

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In June, Tony Lee, a scholar at Berlin’s Free University, told the AP that LinkedIn didn’t tell him which content was prohibited but said it was tieing to the section of his profile where he listed his publications. Among his listed articles was one about the 1989 crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square and comparing Chinese leader Xi Jinping with former leader Mao Zedong.

It’s been more than seven years since LinkedIn launched a website in simplified Chinese language, the written character used on the mainland, to expand its reach in the country.

It said at the time of the launch in early 2014 that expanding in China raises a “difficult question” because it will be required to censor content,

but that it would be clear about how it conducts business in China and undertake “extensive measures” to protect members’ rights and data.

Microsoft bought LinkedIn in 2016.

On Thursday, Eyck Freymann, another scholar who received a censorship warning letter this year, in a text message said

“LinkedIn once served a crucial role, as the only social media network on which Chinese and Western colleagues could communicate away from (Chinese Communist Party) censorship and prying eyes,”