Tuesday, February 25, 2014

LinkedIn launches the Simplified Chinese Site

LinkedIn launches the Simplified Chinese Site

LinkedIn has announced in the blog from Derek Shen (沈博阳), president of LinkedIn China, launched a Simplified Chinese Site. It is branded as "领英" (or LingYing) which literally can be translated as "Leading Elite", "Leader & Elite" or simply "Leader".  Many giants such as Yahoo, Goolge, Facebook and eBay have not been successful to extending their services or beating local competitors. It would be interest to see how LinkedIn Chinese site will work out. Having said so the English version of LinkedIn has been available in Chinese for a long time, the addition of the simplified Chinese site will at least NOT a step backward. They are simply offering more choices to the Chinese market.

Couple of points I find worth mentioning:

First, LinkedIn taps into huge WeChat members database. This is a big plus in helping LinkedIn to expand their presence in China. The following is a quote from Derek's post:
Our members who have WeChat accounts can link both accounts, so that they can more rapidly broaden their professional reach and share relevant news and insights across both networks.
Second, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner has indicated in his blog post that the Simplified Chinese Site will basically agreed to China Government to implement censorship.  Here is an excerpt from his blog post:
As a condition for operating in the country, the government of China imposes censorship requirements on Internet platforms. LinkedIn strongly supports freedom of expression and fundamentally disagrees with government censorship. At the same time, we also believe that LinkedIn’s absence in China would deny Chinese professionals a means to connect with others on our global platform, thereby limiting the ability of individual Chinese citizens to pursue and realize the economic opportunities, dreams and rights most important to them.
Extending our service in China raises difficult questions, but it is clear to us that the decision to proceed is the right one. We believe that individuals in the United States, China, and beyond will benefit substantially from Chinese professionals connecting with each other and LinkedIn members in other parts of the world.....

  • Government restrictions on content will be implemented only when and to the extent required.
LinkedIn has always positioned as a business and professional social media network. From a commercial stand point, it makes sense that they go with the flow and extend their service to the Chinese market. Their stock price has gone up by 5% more yesterday, which is a very surge against a market down day where most internet high tech stock recorded a daily drop in stock price.