Microsoft's purchase of LinkedIn may be complicated in China, where LinkedIn censors content
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Author: Alyssa Abkowitz with Lillian Lin, Wall Street Journal (USA)
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.]
Author: ChinaTechNews (China)
Shen Boyang, LinkedIn's global vice president and China president, said that the company's number of users in China has surpassed 20 million... LinkedIn entered the Chinese market in January 2014 and it launched its Simplified Chinese beta version and its Chinese name on February 25, 2014. Over the past two years, the company insisted on localized product ideas, and this has meant censoring its content to be in line with what it expects Chinese authorities to validate. LinkedIn China is a joint venture of LinkedIn, Sequoia Capital, and China Broadband Capital...
As an American company, LinkedIn's growth is pretty unique in China for the recent decade of Internet history. The company appears to have had few publicly-known problems with Chinese authorities, and this may be the result of its public admission that it conforms its online content to be in line with Chinese standards. Social media sites like Facebook.com, Twitter.com, and Youtube.com [part of Alphabet] are still filtered and blocked in China