According to the “New York Times” report, Microsoft’s professional social networking site LinkedIn appears to be in trouble in China, and the country’s Internet regulator this month reprimanded the company’s executives for failing to control political content. LinkedIn is the only major American social network allowed to operate in China. Microsoft-owned professional services censor the posts of its millions of Chinese users.
But it is not yet clear what material put the company in trouble. According to the New York Times, citing people familiar with the matter, the regulator said that offensive posts were discovered around the annual meeting of Chinese legislators.
People familiar with the matter said that as a punishment, officials asked LinkedIn to conduct a self-assessment and provide a report to China’s Internet regulator, the China Cyberspace Administration.
A person familiar with the matter added that the service was also forced to suspend new user registration for 30 days in China, but the period may be changed based on the government’s judgment.
The China Cyberspace Administration did not immediately respond to a faxed request for comment.
Last week, Microsoft’s professional social networking site LinkedIn stated that it is suspending new member registrations in China because the company is working to ensure that it complies with local laws.
As we all know, China strictly monitors and censors domestic Internet usage and actively blocks any websites or links that are deemed to be contrary to the Communist Party’s narrative.
The country has the most complex censorship system in the world, called the “Long Firewall”. According to the South China Morning Post, the Chinese government controls the media through technologies including blocking IP addresses, DNS attacks, and filtering specific URLs and keywords in URLs.
According to an article by SCMP in November, the number of blocked websites in China has surged to 10,000 over the years.
The blacklist includes social networks such as Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp; news media such as Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal and the New York Times; and popular collaboration tools such as Dropbox and Google Drive (or any other tool on Google).
In 2016, Freedom House ranked China last in 65 countries (88% of Internet users worldwide) for the second consecutive year.