LinkedIn | Source: wichayada –

Last week, Microsoft revealed plans to “sunset” its localized version of the LinkedIn platform in China.

The move comes amid increased pressure to comply with China’s strict censorship laws, the same regulations that have driven other international social networks out of the country. As LinkedIn’s Senior Vice President of Engineering Mohak Shroff wrote on the company’s blog, the localized platform “is how people in China access LinkedIn’s global social media platform.”

New membership signups have been paused since August and now, the company says that it will shift focus to a new InJobs app that aims to help “China-based professionals find jobs in China and Chinese companies find quality candidates.” The new app will not include a newsfeed or any social functions.

Related: The October 2021 Issue of the Toy Book is Here!

As those in the toy industry know, the platform as it stands today is frequented by Chinese factory reps, distributors, inventors, executives, and sales teams. For the latter, most are familiar with the cold sales pitch that usually arrives as a connection request followed by the immediate arrival of a direct message containing a catalog link and a WhatsApp number. While there’s no way to gauge the volume of business conducted through the platform, it’s no doubt been a valuable tool to connect members of the industry doing business in China.

Looking ahead, it will be interesting to see how the closure of LinkedIn China will impact engagement, sales, and even the proliferation of industry news from that part of the world. Like much of 2021, the overall outcome may well be a crapshoot.

About the author

James Zahn

James Zahn

James Zahn, AKA The Rock Father, is Editor-in-Chief of The Toy Book, a Senior Editor at The Toy Insider and The Pop Insider, and Editor of The Toy Report, The Toy Book‘s weekly industry newsletter. As a pop culture and toy industry expert, Zahn has appeared as a panelist and guest at events including Comic-Con International: San Diego (SDCC) Wizard World Chicago, and the ASTRA Marketplace & Academy. Zahn has more than 30 years of experience in the entertainment, retail, and publishing industries, and is frequently called upon to offer expert commentary for publications such as Forbes, Marketwatch, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, USA Today, Reuters, the Washington Post, and more. James has appeared on History Channel’s Modern Marvels, was interviewed by Larry King and Anderson Cooper, and has been seen on Yahoo! Finance, CNN, CNBC, FOX Business, NBC, ABC, CBS, WGN, The CW, and more. Zahn joined the Adventure Media & Events family in 2016, initially serving as a member of the Parent Advisory Board after penning articles for the Netflix Stream Team, Fandango Family, PBS KIDS, Sprout Parents (now Universal Kids), PopSugar, and Chicago Parent. He eventually joined the company full time as a Senior Editor and moved up the ranks to Deputy Editor and Editor-in-Chief.