Social Media Competition

4 Mar

There is set to be increased competition in the social media market in China as it emerged last week that LinkedIn has initiated a beta (test) version of its Chinese language site. LinkedIn, a professional networking platform, has already got an English language site which has been active in China for over a decade and has four million Chinese users. The new site will enhance LinkedIn’s growth in China as competing social networking sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, continue to be censored and blocked.

Because of increasing censorship by the Chinese authorities, which came about as a result of internet users being able to voice their opinions and share unfiltered information, LinkedIn has faced difficulties with expanding in China. The main reason for this is because LinkedIn advocates freedom of expression and therefore does not support the censorship by the government. However, as the company does not want to prevent the Chinese from having global networking access, it has decided to push ahead with the Chinese language site, but with some guidelines. These include carrying out extensive measures to protect the data and rights of the users, being clear about how it conducts its business in China and only applying government restrictions when, and to the extent, it is required.

There are signs to suggest that this new LinkedIn site will succeed in China, as the country already has over 500 million internet users and the fact that the new platform will be in Chinese will no doubt offer a more localised service to the population. However, according to the Xinhua News Agency, few foreign internet firms have been successful in China in the past decade due to strong competition from local firms. Therefore, there is a question over how successful LinkedIn will be with its Chinese language site, which only time will tell. However, one certainty which will come from it is that it will bring greater economic opportunity amid China’s continuing globalisation.

References

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-26333503

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-26349393

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2014-02/26/c_133142833.htm

 

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