Microsoft, somewhat surprisingly, has officially announced that it will soon close its popular social networking site for professionals, LinkedIn, in China.
China closes its doors to Linkedin
With LinkedIn leaving the country, the last Western social network that had managed to resist the Asian censorship policy, which had forced Facebook, Twitter and Google to abandon China years ago, is now closing.
Microsoft, which owns the popular professional social network, said on Thursday that it would close LinkedIn due to a:
“significantly more challenging operating environment and increased compliance requirements in China”.
The company said it will launch a new job search service in China that will not be a social networking site like LinkedIn and will comply with all the strict rules required by Beijing authorities.
This news follows a few weeks after the Chinese authorities sent LinkedIn a warning to moderate and control certain profiles on their social network.
The company had responded by blocking these profiles in order not to incur sanctions. Evidently, this was not enough and convinced Microsoft to cease activity altogether.
This must have cost Microsoft a lot, considering that China is LinkedIn’s third-largest market in the world.
In July, the CEO of Microsoft, Satya Nadella, had stated how LinkedIn contributes around $10 billion in annual revenue for the software company that bought the social network five years ago for $26 billion.
China and its control over tech
A few weeks ago, China also banned cryptocurrencies and all related activities.
This fact confirms how the Chinese state wants to have control over all means of technological innovation. Media that do not lend themselves well to centralized control, whether they are social or digital currencies.
China is one of the most advanced countries in the world in terms of digital and mobile payments. It is now building its own national ecosystem to replace the big American social networks, which the authorities view with suspicion, similar to cryptocurrencies.
In China, there is Youku Tudou, a kind of YouTube, Baidu Tieba, which replaces Google, Red, the e-commerce community, and Meitu, the Chinese alternative to Instagram.
Not to mention the two real giants, Wechat, a sort of Facebook, and Tencent, which replaces WhatsApp.
China is one of the countries that has almost completed the first step of its digital state currency project.
The Asian country wants to achieve full independence from the big Western technological and IT giants. And this step cannot but pass through social networks and cryptocurrencies.