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 3:57 AM EST, Thu December 18, 2014
Chinese students show a handmade red ribbon one day ahead of the the World AIDS Day, at a school in Hanshan, east China's Anhui province on November 30, 2009.
Over 200 Chinese villagers in Sichuan province have signed a petition to banish a HIV-positive eight-year-old boy, state media reported.
updated 6:44 AM EST, Mon December 15, 2014
A Chinese couple allegedly threw hot water on a flight attendant and threatened to blow up the plane, forcing the Nanjing-bound plane to turn back to Bangkok.
updated 12:03 AM EST, Mon December 15, 2014
China's 1.3 billion citizens may soon find it much harder to belt out their national anthem at will.
updated 7:21 PM EST, Tue December 9, 2014
Like Beijing today, Los Angeles in the last century went through its own smog crisis. The city's mayor says LA's experience delivers valuable lessons.
updated 12:42 AM EST, Sat December 6, 2014
At the height of his power, Zhou Yongkang controlled China's police, spy agencies and courts. Now, he's under arrest.
updated 3:26 AM EST, Fri December 5, 2014
China says it will end organ transplants from executed prisoners but tradition means that donors are unlikely to make up the shortfall.
updated 1:48 AM EST, Fri December 5, 2014
China's skylines could look a lot more uniform in the years to come, if a statement by a top Beijing official is to believed.
updated 3:55 AM EST, Wed December 3, 2014
Despite an anti-corruption drive, China's position on an international corruption index has deteriorated in the past 12 months.
updated 7:01 AM EST, Wed November 26, 2014
A daring cross-border raid by one of Russian President Vladimir Putin's associates has -- so far -- yet to sour Sino-Russian relations.
updated 7:51 PM EST, Sun November 23, 2014
A 24-hour Taipei bookstore is a hangout for hipsters as well as bookworms.
updated 8:53 PM EST, Mon November 24, 2014
China is building an island in the South China Sea that could accommodate an airstrip, according to IHS Jane's Defence Weekly.
updated 5:57 AM EST, Wed November 19, 2014
North Korean refugees face a daunting journey to reach asylum in South Korea, with gangs of smugglers the only option.
updated 6:19 PM EST, Fri November 21, 2014
China and "probably one or two other" countries have the capacity to shut down the nation's power grid and other critical infrastructure.
ADVERTISEMENT