Microsoft said on Thursday it would shut down career-oriented social network LinkedIn in China, citing a “challenging operating environment” as Beijing tightens controls on tech firms.
According to Mohk Shroff, senior vice president of engineering, the US-based company will replace LinkedIn in China with an application dedicated to applying for jobs, but without networking features.
“We are facing a significantly more challenging operating environment and greater compliance requirements in China,” Shroff said in a blog post.
According to the Wall Street Journal, LinkedIn was given a deadline by Chinese Internet regulators to better monitor content on the site.
LinkedIn, which was launched in China in 2014, lets people use personal and business relationships to find job opportunities.
Chinese officials are targeting several domestic tech giants for alleged monopolistic practices and aggressive harvesting of consumer data.
The campaign is part of a broader policy by the government to tighten its grip on the world’s number two economy, including targeting private education, property and casinos.
According to Shroff, Microsoft will “sunset” the China version of LinkedIn and launch an InJobs application dedicated to connected professionals in that country with companies looking for employees.
Microsoft bought LinkedIn for a little over $26 billion in 2016, and has worked to build a presence in China despite concerns about online censorship.
Facebook and Twitter have been banned in China for more than a decade.
Google left the country in 2010 in response to a hacking attack and censorship.
E-commerce giant Amazon’s website is available in China, but the market there is dominated by local players such as Alibaba and JD.com.
(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)