Microsoft to shut down LinkedIn in China because of 'challenging operating environment'

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Microsoft to shut down LinkedIn in China because of 'challenging operating environment'

Microsoft says it will shut down LinkedIn in China, citing a challenging operating environment as Beijing tightens control over tech firms.

The US-based company will replace the career-oriented social networking platform in China with an application devoted to applying for jobs without the networking features, according to the senior vice president of engineering Mohak Shroff.

We are facing a significantly more challenging operating environment and more compliance requirements in China, he said in a blog post on Thursday.

According to the Wall Street Journal, LinkedIn was given a deadline by Chinese internet regulators to better oversee content on the site.

Chinese authorities have been targeting a range of domestic tech giants for alleged monopolistic practices and aggressive harvesting of consumer data.

The drive is part of the government s wider policy to strengthen its grip on the world's number two economy, including targeting private education, property and casinos.

Shroff said Microsoft would demonetize the China version of LinkedIn and launch an InJobs application dedicated to connected professionals seeking employees in that country with companies searching employees.

LinkedIn says the new service would not include a social feed or the ability to share posts or articles.

Microsoft bought LinkedIn for just over $26 bn 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.

In 2010 Google left the country as a response to hacking attack and censorship.

The website of the local e-commerce giant Amazon is accessible in China, but the market there is driven by international players such as Alibaba and JD.com.