Microsoft will close the Chinese version of LinkedIn after an investigation into censorship of academics and journalists by order of the Chinese government.
LinkedIn will be replaced by a standalone product called InJobs, separate from Chinese LinkedIn, the company said Thursday.
Mohak Shroff, head of the engineering department, said in his blog that “the more complex operating environment and requirements in China” helped LinkedIn make decisions in China.
The move marks the end of the last major American social network officially operating in China, and LinkedIn is facing ongoing scrutiny over compliance with Chinese government censorship.
In September, Axios reported that LinkedIn had blocked Chinese users from viewing the profiles of several U.S. journalists who had written critically about the Chinese government.
In June, the Wall Street Journal reported on LinkedIn that it had censored the profiles or posts of at least 11 academics, journalists and politicians.
LinkedIn said the move is necessary to comply with Chinese government regulations.
The company’s new Chinese product, InJobs, seems to have been created to reduce conflicts.
The new site will not have the ability to share social media or messages or articles, the company said in a statement.
“Our new strategy for China is to focus on helping Chinese professionals find jobs in China and help Chinese companies find quality candidates,” Shroff wrote.
Yaqiu Wang, a senior researcher for Human Rights Watch in China, praised the decision.
“Microsoft finally realized that if it chose to stay in China, joining censorship would not be limited and end, and it would be better to leave, reducing losses,” the researcher said. wrote on Twitter.