LinkedIn is pushing full-strength into China, with a new, Chinese-language service that hopes to attract as many of the country’s 140 million professionals as possible. LinkedIn China marks the 22nd local language site for LinkedIn.
The idea behind the Chinese site, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner wrote in a blog post, is to build a talent marketplace that would attract companies looking to expand in China, as well as those companies in China looking for a bigger international presence.
The site will be in Simplified Chinese, beta version. Derek Shen, president of China for LinkedIn, notes in a blog post that the site will be branded “领英” and will aim to offer more localized content for Chinese-speaking users.
For a company of 277 milion users that has been criticised of late for slowing growth, the move is significant: China represents an opportunity of some 140 million professionals, or one in five of all knowledge workers globally, according to LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner. And given how strong the GDP is growing in China — currently the world’s second-fastest — the number of potential users is sure to go up.
Weiner says that its workaround is to put into place a list of requirements for how it intends to proceed:
– Government restrictions on content will be implemented only when and to the extent required.
– 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.
Beijing censors sensitive terms from the Internet and blocks social networks Facebook Inc and Twitter Inc, a widespread effort that analysts say is geared towards maintaining the Communist Party’s hold on power and preserving social stability.
Google Inc, the world’s No.1 Internet search engine, relocated its Chinese language search service to Hong Kong from mainland China in 2006 following a dispute with the Chinese government over censorship and cyber-attacks that Google said originated in China.