LinkedIn launches a Chinese-language version on the mainland

Known as "Lingying", this localised version of the business networking site lacks several features present in the international edition

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 25 February, 2014, 8:13pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 25 February, 2014, 8:14pm

LinkedIn has officially launched a Chinese beta version of its professional social network under the name Lingying (领英).

A Chinese version of the service has been expected ever since the company hired Derek Shen, formally the founder and CEO of group buying website Nuomi, as the head of its mainland-focused operations.

On the Chinese desktop version of Linkedin, users will find Sina Weibo and Tencent Weibo options to import contacts.

Unlike the international version, Twitter and Facebook are nowhere to be found.

Similarly, the "Groups" feature and the option to self-publish articles on users’ profiles are also missing, although these functions may be added in later versions of the social network.

LinkedIn has had to walk a fine line between China’s laws and regulations regarding user-generated content and creating a user experience equivalent to its global site.

Many domestic social networks similar to LinkedIn have tried and failed in the Chinese market, which already has several popular recruitment websites such as ChinaHR, 51Job, and Zhaopin.

Before the Chinese version of Linkedin was released, the latest version of social messaging app WeChat allowed users to bind their LinkedIn profiles to their accounts.

This integration into China’s most widely-used app may prove invaluable to LinkedIn’s career in China.

LinkedIn is one of the few western social networks that is not blocked in China, and the service reported four million registered users of its English version on the mainland.

Aside from Chinese, there are currently localised versions of LinkedIn in Indonesian, Thai, Malaysian, Japanese, and Tagalog.

This article was originally reported by Tech in Asia and was edited and republished with permission.

Additional reporting by Jeremy Blum