Skip to main content

LinkedIn makes China connection

By Euan McKirdy for CNN
updated 4:11 AM EST, Tue February 25, 2014
Linkedin, perhaps the world's most successful professional networking site, has expanded into China.
Linkedin, perhaps the world's most successful professional networking site, has expanded into China.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • LinkedIn launches beta version of its simplified Chinese site
  • Company currently has four million users in China
  • CEO Jeff Weiner admits the company will comply with Chinese government restrictions

Hong Kong (CNN) -- LinkedIn, the networking site for professionals, has done what few other foreign online services have achieved -- it has successfully set up its China operations.

With the launch of a simplified Chinese version of its hugely popular "social" media site for professional contacts, it is set to exploit a gap in this potentially lucrative market.

In a blog post, CEO Jeff Weiner yesterday announced the low-key beta version launch. "The new Simplified Chinese website will broaden our reach to the country's more than 140 million professionals who currently represent roughly one in five of the world's knowledge workers," he said.

With four million Chinese users -- according to Weiner -- LinkedIn has a long way to go to catch up with China's native social media sites and apps, which number in the hundreds of millions. WeChat, the Chinese social media app of the moment, has a reported 272 million users.

Chinese cooperation

The announcement has come under fire already, with reaction to Weiner's online admission that the company has agreed to cooperate with Chinese authorities on data storage and censorship.

"Government restrictions on content will be implemented only when and to the extent required," his post read.

"LinkedIn will be transparent about how it conducts business in China and will use multiple avenues to notify members about our practices.

"The company will undertake extensive measures to protect the rights and data of our members."

Internet giants Facebook and Google have previously pulled out of China due to concerns over censorship and privacy, while Yahoo has previously been criticized for apparently handing over data on dissidents to the authorities.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 9:09 PM EDT, Tue September 23, 2014
The Dalai Lama, Tibet's spiritual leader, set off a media kerfuffle this month when he spoke about his next reincarnation.
updated 10:18 AM EDT, Sun September 28, 2014
He's one of the fieriest political activists in Hong Kong — he's been called an "extremist" by China's state-run media — and he's not old enough to drive.
updated 10:57 PM EDT, Mon September 22, 2014
China has no wine-making tradition but the country now uncorks more bottles of red than any other.
updated 5:29 AM EDT, Tue September 16, 2014
Christians in eastern China keep watch in Wenzhou, where authorities have demolished churches and removed crosses.
updated 1:38 AM EDT, Wed September 10, 2014
Home-grown hip-hop appeals to a younger generation but its popularity has not translated into record deals and profits for budding rap artists.
updated 1:45 AM EDT, Tue September 9, 2014
Reforms to the grueling gaokao - the competitive college entrance examination - don't make the grade, says educator Jiang Xueqin.
updated 8:18 AM EDT, Fri September 5, 2014
Beijing grapples with reports from Iraq that a Chinese national fighting for ISIS has been captured.
updated 10:00 PM EDT, Sun August 31, 2014
CNN's David McKenzie has tasted everything from worms to grasshoppers while on the road; China's cockroaches are his latest culinary adventure.
updated 8:57 PM EDT, Thu September 4, 2014
Beijing rules only candidates approved by a nominating committee can run for Hong Kong's chief executive.
updated 3:14 PM EDT, Fri August 29, 2014
China warns the United States to end its military surveillance flights near Chinese territory.
updated 11:12 PM EDT, Thu August 28, 2014
China has produced elite national athletes but some argue the emphasis on winning discourages children. CNN's Kristie Lu Stout reports
updated 1:13 AM EDT, Tue August 19, 2014
Chinese are turning to overseas personal shoppers to get their hands on luxury goods at lower prices.
updated 5:08 AM EDT, Fri August 15, 2014
Experts say rapidly rising numbers of Christians are making it harder for authorities to control the religion's spread.
updated 12:52 AM EDT, Mon August 11, 2014
"I'm proud of their moral standing," says Harvey Humphrey. His parents are accused of corporate crimes in China.
updated 3:42 PM EDT, Wed August 6, 2014
A TV confession detailing a life of illegal gambling and paid-for sex has capped the dramatic fall of one of China's most high-profile social media celebrities.
updated 12:10 AM EDT, Thu July 31, 2014
President Xi Jinping's campaign to punish corrupt Chinese officials has snared its biggest target -- where can the campaign go from here?
updated 3:12 AM EDT, Wed July 30, 2014
All you need to know about the tainted meat produce that affects fast food restaurants across China, Hong Kong, and Japan.
updated 10:30 PM EDT, Thu July 17, 2014
Some savvy individuals in China are claiming naming rights to valuable foreign brands. Here's how companies can combat them.
updated 5:11 AM EDT, Wed July 16, 2014
Is the Chinese president a true reformist or merely a "dictator" in disguise? CNN's Beijing bureau chief Jaime FlorCruz dissects the leader's policies
updated 11:44 PM EDT, Mon July 7, 2014
With a population of 1.3 billion, you'd think that there would be 11 people in China who are good enough to put up a fight on the football pitch.
ADVERTISEMENT