As China is increasing pressure on internet companies as part of a larger effort to maintain control over online activity. As a result of this, LinkedIn has announced that it will no longer be able to operate its local version of the platform and will soon be shutting LinkedIn China in favour of a new regional job board app.

LinkedIn first launched a localised Chinese version which was built in adherence with local restrictions nearly 8 years ago in 2014. Now however, amid rising pressure, especially on foreign providers, LinkedIn has been forced to take a step back.

In the words of LinkedIn:

“While we’ve found success in helping Chinese members find jobs and economic opportunity, we have not found that same level of success in the more social aspects of sharing and staying informed. We’re also facing a significantly more challenging operating environment and greater compliance requirements in China. Given this, we’ve made the decision to sunset the current localised version of LinkedIn, which is how people in China access LinkedIn’s global social media platform, later this year.”

The announcement is hardly groundbreaking news given the ongoing challenges LinkedIn has faced in adhering to strict local rules around online speech. The platform was sanctioned by Chinese officials earlier this year for “failing to control political content on its platform”. This is the latest in a range of clashes over content, with the Cyberspace Administration of China keeping close tabs on in-app interactions and reports, and how LinkedIn maintains separation between its main app and the Chinese version.

LinkedIn has not exactly thrived in China, it currently has around 54 million users which when you compare this to other platforms is not a massive amount (LinkedIn’s biggest competitor in job listings is WeChat, which has 1.25 billion active users). Not only this given its lack of major growth in the market, LinkedIn may also have assessed that the extra measures required to maintain the local version were simply not worth the ongoing investment.

LinkedIn was the last big hope and was seen as the last test case as to how to work with Chinese regulators. But now as the Chinese internet becomes a little more closed off, which will dash the hopes of many others who had been hoping to see a new way forward in the market.