LinkedIn, one of the Microsoft companies, plans to reduce its presence in China, the world’s second largest economy, to close its application used in China and to lay off 716 more people.
The company will phase out its local employment app, InCareer, by August, citing intense competition. The company announced in a blog post that it will reduce efforts such as sales and marketing, and downsize local engineering and product teams.
The move marks the completion of LinkedIn’s withdrawal from the world’s largest internet market, which began nearly two years ago after it came under regulatory scrutiny and local competitors emerged.
In an internal memo, “We will focus our China strategy on helping companies operating in China recruit, market and train abroad. “Although InCareer achieved some success last year thanks to our strong China-based team, it also faced fierce competition and a tough macroeconomic environment.”
When LinkedIn entered China in 2014, it appeared to offer a model for US internet companies. The company had agreed to restrict content to comply with state censorship rules in exchange for permission to operate in the country.
The app’s number of users in mainland China reached 52 million at one point, while other US platforms like Twitter and Facebook were banned.
The company announced in 2021 that it would shut down the local version of LinkedIn, blaming the harsh work environment, making it the last major social media service in the US to shut down.