Chinese App Discontinued as 716 Employees are Affected.

Microsoft-owned business networking platform LinkedIn is to discontinue its China-specific jobs app, InCareer, and cut 716 jobs globally. The move represents about 3.5% of LinkedIn’s workforce of around 19,000. LinkedIn shut down its localized LinkedIn product in China and launched InCareer in Dec. 2021, promising to reinvent business and employment opportunities “with new thinking”. CEO Ryan Roslansky cited “fierce competition and a challenging macroeconomic climate” in China for the decision. LinkedIn plans to continue other operations in China, including LinkedIn Learning, but the company will “manage expenses” for future growth.  

InCareer will delete all user data by Aug. 9, LinkedIn said. By April 2021, the total number of LinkedIn and InCareer users in China was over 57 million, according to an InCareer page. The move to discontinue InCareer comes as the firm reports growth in LinkedIn revenue of 8% YoY up to $3.7bn in the third quarter.   

China offers a fast-moving and fertile market for US-based tech companies, which compete with homegrown businesses for a share in the market. One such firm, Zhaopin, claims more than 320 million professional and corporate users, ranging from Baidu to Chinese government agencies. LinkedIn started in China in 2014, only to be banned by the Chinese government just weeks after launch. In September this year, LinkedIn was criticised by a US Department of Justice advisory committee for its censorship practices in China, with the company facing complaints over political censorship, and a lack of information about the censorship process itself. 

Despite its woes in China, LinkedIn has enjoyed positive growth in other parts of the world. The company is expecting to hire more than 800 new employees in the US alone, actively recruiting for engineering and sales positions. With remote work a key aspect of the new pandemic economy, LinkedIn is offering unlimited PTO (paid time off) to its employees, alongside flexible or hybrid working options. LinkedIn’s move is part of a wider trend of companies rebalancing their workforces for the post-pandemic economy.

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