LinkedIn cuts 716 jobs as it phases out its China app

LinkedIn mobile app displayed on smartphone set on desk

LinkedIn is cutting 716 jobs and will begin phasing out its local jobs app in China. In a letter today, LinkedIn CEO Ryan Roslansky said the decision to shutter the standalone China app, called InCareer, was because of “fierce competition and a challenging macroeconomic climate.”

While reducing some roles, LinkedIn, which is owned by Microsoft and has 20,000 employees, also plans to open about 250 new jobs in some segments of its operations, and new business and accounting management teams on May 15.

LinkedIn is the latest tech company, ranging in size from Google and Amazon to startups, to announce layoffs. Its parent company, Microsoft, said it was cutting 10,000 jobs, or nearly 5% of its global workforce, in January.

InCareer was launched in December 2021, a couple months after LinkedIn announced it was shutting down its main service in China. At that time, it attributed the decision to shutter LinkedIn China to “a significantly more challenging operating environment and greater compliance requirements.”

InCareer was meant to help professionals within China network, find and apply for jobs, but it was up against competitors like Maimai, the dominant professional networking site in the country with over 120 million users, according to its website. Maimai’s advantages include the ability to share posts anonymously, which makes it a popular destination for workers seeking to vent or find information about their companies.

LinkedIn plans to finish phasing out InCareer by August 9, while shifting its China strategy to help companies operating in China hire, market and train abroad. This means it will continue to have Talent, Marketing and Learning businesses in China.

Laid off employees who are covered by U.S. benefits will get severance pay, continuing health coverage and career transition services, while employees outside the U.S. will get benefits that align with local labor laws and practices.

The layoffs and InCareer’s phasing out are part of changes that LinkedIn is making to its Global Business Organization (GBO) and China strategy. As part of that, LinkedIn is sunsetting its Business Productivity team. It also plans to reduce management roles and use more vendors to “serve emerging and growth markets more effectively.”

Roslansky said he expects fiscal year 2024 to “remain challenging. “We’re adapting as we have done this year and will continue to operate with the ambition we need to deliver on our vision and the pragmatism required to run the business well,” he wrote.

As part of Microsoft’s latest quarterly earnings report, issued in April, LinkedIn reported a 8% increase in revenue year-over-year. In the report previous to that one, Microsoft warned it expected revenue growth to slow to the mid-single digits in the third quarter, due to a slowdown in hiring and advertising spending.