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23 Jun 2016

Alyssa Abkowitz with Lillian Lin, Wall Street Journal (USA)

For LinkedIn China, Microsoft Deal Is a Complicated Connection

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Western technology firms have long struggled to figure out how to operate in China, home to the world’s biggest internet and smartphone markets but ruled over by an authoritarian government. But LinkedIn Corp. is an exception.  To get in, LinkedIn in 2014 made a rare concession for a U.S. social networking firm when it agreed to play by local censorship rules... Now, LinkedIn faces another potential hitch after it was acquired by Microsoft Corp... A Microsoft spokesman reiterated what the company said in its statement. “LinkedIn will retain its distinct brand, culture and independence,” in all geographies, including China...

LinkedIn China, which now has about 200 employees at offices in Beijing and Shanghai, made an early decision to globally restrict sensitive content coming from China. It revised that policy in September 2014 after controversy so that information deemed sensitive was only blocked to users inside of China.

[Refers to LinkedIn's business relationship with China Broadband Capital and Sequoia China.  Also refers to Google (part of Alphabet) withdrawing from China over censorship, Facebook & Twitter being blocked, criticisms of Apple and Walt Disney's content by Chinese Govt.]

Part of the following timelines

Microsoft's purchase of LinkedIn may be complicated in China, where LinkedIn censors content

China: Microsoft ceases LinkedIn services citing "challenging operating environment"