LinkedIn, the popular social media network that caters to business professionals, is set to cut 716 jobs out of its 20,000 workforce. In addition, it will phase out its local jobs app, InCareers, in China. The move is part of the company’s plan to streamline its operations and expand its use of vendors to serve growth markets more effectively. The job cuts will mainly affect the company’s sales, operations, and support teams. However, LinkedIn has also announced that it will be creating 250 new jobs that affected employees can apply for.
LinkedIn has been the only major Western social media platform operating in China since 2014. The company had agreed to adhere to the requirements of the Chinese government to operate there. However, it mostly withdrew from the country in 2021, citing a “challenging environment.” The remaining app, InCareers, will be phased out by 9 August, and the company will keep a presence in China to assist companies operating there in hiring and training employees outside the country.
For the most part, the job cuts and app phase-out are part of LinkedIn’s efforts to streamline its operations and serve growth markets more effectively. However, the move is also a result of the market and customer demand fluctuations that have affected many companies in the last year. Amazon, Microsoft (LinkedIn’s parent company), and Alphabet have all announced layoffs in the last six months.
LinkedIn’s decision to adhere to Chinese government requirements has drawn criticism from some US politicians. In 2014, US senator Rick Scott called the move a “gross appeasement and an act of submission to Communist China” in a letter to LinkedIn’s chief executive and Microsoft’s CEO. However, LinkedIn’s decision to phase out its local app in China suggests that the company is willing to make changes to its operations in response to the country’s challenging business environment.