Microsoft announced Thursday in a post that after facing a significantly more challenging operating environment and greater compliance requirements in China, LinkedIn would replace its current version with a job-board service, removing social media features like the ability to share opinions and news stories.
The job board will likely retain search features to find job openings.
LinkedIn entered China in 2014. Unlike Twitter and Facebook, China’s government allowed LinkedIn to operate in the country as one of the few U.S. social networking because early on it agreed to restrict some content to follow state censorship rules.
In March, the company paused new member sign-ups for its service in China while trying to comply with local law.
“We’re a global platform with an obligation to respect the laws that apply to us, including adhering to Chinese government regulations for our localized version of LinkedIn in China,” the company posted a statement earlier this year.
In June, some users in China found that LinkedIn began blocking profiles based on "prohibited" content in the country. The WSJ reported that Eyck Freymann, an Oxford University doctoral student, got a notice from LinkedIn telling him his account had been blocked in China. The “Experience” section of his profile, which detailed his career history, contained “prohibited” content, he was informed.
LinkedIn couldn't explain why, but Freymann told the WSJ he thought it was "because he had included the words 'Tiananmen Square massacre' in the entry for his two-year stint as a research assistant for a book in 2015."