Radio France Internationale (RFI) Chinese Edition recently reported that Microsoft-owned professional social network LinkedIn announced on March 9 that it will pause in accepting new Chinese members into the network. The announcement also said the decision had nothing to do with the recent major state-sponsored attack on Microsoft’s email products from Chinese hackers. LinkedIn explained that the company is reviewing legal compliance requirements for its Chinese version of services. However, no details on the legal front have been provided. LinkedIn is one of the very few international social networking platforms that survived the Chinese market, while China’s Great Firewall bans networks like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram in the name of national security. Microsoft’s Bing search engine is also banned in China. LinkedIn started its Chinese version in 2014, before Microsoft acquired it. LinkedIn decided to obey the Chinese censorship at the time in exchange for expanding its business in China. Currently LinkedIn has around 50 million Chinese users (Editor’s note: LinkedIn global user population is estimated to be 760 million). LinkedIn has received wide criticism for its deletion of accounts of Chinese political dissidents and its removal of politically sensitive content.
Source: RFI Chinese, March 10, 2021