Microsoft’s LinkedIn Announces Firings

On Monday, LinkedIn announced that it will be laying off over 700 workers worldwide and scaling back its operations in China, the New York Times reported.

The networking platform used by millions of companies and employees announced that due to slumping demand, it will lay off 716 workers worldwide, including the teams dedicated to marketing and engineering in China. However, the company did not say how many of those job cuts will be in China.

LinkedIn also announced that it will close down its Chinese job-posting app, InCareer, by August.

Chinese users of InCareer, which the company launched in 2014, could only use the platform to search for jobs, not to share articles or post the way LinkedIn users can.

In providing the Chinese-language app, LinkedIn was forced to censor the content of millions of Chinese users to comply with Beijing’s strict laws. The company said at the time that it opposed Beijing’s censorship, but argued that not providing an app in China would deprive Chinese professionals of the opportunity to make professional connections.

But in the intervening years under President Xi Jinping, China’s censorship expanded. In 2021, LinkedIn shut down its flagship networking service citing the more “challenging operating environment.”

In a letter to LinkedIn employees this week, Chief Executive Ryan Roslansky said the job cuts were prompted by fluctuations in customer behavior and slower revenue growth. The company, which employs around 20,000 people worldwide, said while it will be reducing operations in China and other countries, it would be creating 250 jobs elsewhere.

Roslansky said LinkedIn would also retain its presence in China to help the companies operating there to hire and train overseas employees.

LinkedIn’s layoffs are the latest sign of the overall slowdown in growth from tech companies that has resulted in tens of thousands of jobs being cut this year. Other tech companies that have scaled back workers include Amazon, Google, and Meta.