Microsoft is pulling the plug on LinkedIn in China nearly seven years after its launch and will replace it with a stripped-down version of the platform that would focus only on jobs.
LinkedIn is the only major US-owned social network operating in the country, where the government requires such platforms to follow strict rules and regulations.
"We're also facing a significantly more challenging operating environment and greater compliance requirements in China," LinkedIn said in a blog post on Thursday, adding it did not find the same level of success in the more social aspects of sharing and staying informed like it has globally.
"We recognised that operating a localised version of LinkedIn in China would mean adherence to requirements of the Chinese government on Internet platforms. While we strongly support freedom of expression, we took this approach in order to create value for our members in China and around the world," the post continued.
LinkedIn said it would replace the Chinese service, which restricts posting of certain content due to regulatory requirements, with a new portal called InJobs.
The new service, which will be launched later this year, will not include a social feed or the ability to share posts or articles, it said.
"This decision aligns with our commitment to creating economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce. While that has been our vision for nearly two decades now, it feels more important than ever as we all strive to build a global economy that delivers more prosperity and progress to people all over the world," the post said.
California-based LinkedIn, which was bought by Microsoft in 2016, has become hugely popular globally with employers, employees and job seekers as its social media-like features make it easier for them to connect with one another, while building their professional network.