LinkedIn to cut 716 jobs, shut down app in China amid ‘difficult’ economic climate | CNN Business
LinkedIn, the world’s largest social networking platform for professionals, is cutting 716 positions and closing its job application in mainland China, the California-based company announced.
The decision came amid changes in customer behavior and slower revenue growth, CEO Ryan Roslansky said in a letter to employees on Monday.
“As we guide LinkedIn through this rapidly changing landscape, we are making changes to our global business organization and our China strategy that will result in reduced roles for 716 employees,” he said.
Microsoft ( MSFT )-owned LinkedIn has joined a number of U.S. tech companies that have made significant job cuts this year. Meta announced in March an additional 10,000 layoffs on top of the mass layoffs announced in 2022. Amazon also said in the same month that it would eliminate 9,000 positions, following the 18,000 positions the company announced. was cut in January.
“Just as we plan [the fiscal year of 2024]we expect the macro environment to remain challenging,” Roslansky said. “We will continue to manage our expenses while investing in strategic areas of growth.”
As part of the move, LinkedIn will phase out InCareer, its app for mainland China, on August 9.
Roslansky cited “fierce competition” and “a challenging macroeconomic climate” as the reason for the shutdown.
LinkedIn will maintain some presence in China, including providing services to companies operating there to recruit and train employees outside the country, according to a company spokesman.
LinkedIn is the last major Western social networking app still operating in mainland China. Twitter, Facebook and Youtube have been banned in the country for over a decade. Google left in early 2010.
LinkedIn first entered China in 2014 by launching a localized version of its main app. But his moves to censor publications in the country, in accordance with Chinese laws, were criticized.
In March 2021, LinkedIn had to suspend sign-ups in China to ensure it “complies with local law”. A few months later, it replaced that app with InCareer, which focused solely on job postings, with no social media features like sharing or commenting.
The US social networking site has faced stiff competition in China. As of 2021, it had more than 50 million members in the country, making it the company’s third-largest market after the United States and India. But it fell behind local competitors like Maimai.
Maimai was launched in 2013 and dubbed the Chinese version of LinkedIn. Within a few years it surpassed LinkedIn to become the most popular professional networking platform in the country, with 110 million verified members. An important feature that drove its success was that it allowed users to post anonymously in a chat forum.
The operating environment in China has also become more challenging. Since Xi Jinping took power in 2012, he has tightened control what can be said online and launched a series of Internet crackdowns.
“While we’ve found success in helping Chinese members find jobs and economic opportunities, we haven’t found the same level of success in the more social aspects of sharing and staying informed,” LinkedIn wrote in a blog post of October 2021. “We also face a significantly more challenging operating environment and greater compliance requirements in China.”