LinkedIn Will Cut Over 700 Jobs Worldwide and Shut Its China App
LinkedIn, the networking platform used by millions of employees and companies, said on Monday it will pare down its operations in China, capping a multiyear pullback that exemplified the challenges of running a foreign business in China.
The company, owned by Microsoft, said it will lay off 716 employees worldwide, including teams dedicated to engineering and marketing in China, because of slumping demand. It did not say how many of those layoffs will be in China.
LinkedIn will also shut its China job posting app, a bare-bones version of its international service, by August. Users of the app, called InCareer, could only search for jobs and not post or share articles the way they can on LinkedIn.
When LinkedIn started a Chinese-language version of its website in 2014, it charted a path that its peers, including Facebook and Google, had shied away from. It partnered with local firms and began censoring the content of millions of Chinese customers in accordance with Beijing’s strict laws. Several U.S. journalists and activists said their profiles had been blocked because of “prohibited content.” The company said at the time that while it opposed government censorship, its absence in the country could deprive Chinese professionals of the chance to make professional connections.
Yet over the years, the challenges for foreign and domestic social media platforms multiplied as the power of China’s censorship machine ballooned under its leader, Xi Jinping. In 2021, LinkedIn closed its flagship networking service in China, citing compliance issues and a “significantly more challenging operating environment.”
In a letter to employees, Ryan Roslansky, LinkedIn’s chief executive, said the cuts were prompted by slower revenue growth and fluctuations in customer behavior. The news follows an overall slowdown in tech that has led to tens of thousands of layoffs this year by the largest companies, including Amazon, Meta and Google.
LinkedIn, which employs about 20,000 people, said Monday that while it was reducing operations in China and other countries, it plans to create 250 jobs in other areas.
Mr. Roslansky said it will retain a presence in China to help companies operating in the country hire and train employees from overseas.