Since Microsoft bought LinkedIn for $26.2 billion in 2016, revenue from this business has tripled. Mr. Nadella told investors in July that LinkedIn’s revenue surpassed $10 billion in annual revenue, up 27% year-over-year.
LinkedIn declined to comment beyond its announcement.
Although Microsoft has been trying to build a market in China for more than a decade, it has had only modest success. Last year, Brad Smith, president of Microsoft, said the country accounted for less than 2% of revenue.
Microsoft Windows and Office are popular in China, but many people use pirated copies. The company has tried to overcome this problem, by hosting its software online and by tapping a major Chinese military contractor to help it deliver an operating system trusted by the Chinese government. more reliable.
It’s been a rough year for private tech companies in China. Mr. Xi has overseen a series of investigations, bans and new regulations that have brought down many of the country’s best-known local internet companies, including Alibaba and Didi.
Dan Ives, an analyst at Wedbush Securities, said: “The scale and scope of the crackdown in Beijing has been so severe that not only domestic companies in China but also US companies must also withdraw.” “The last thing Microsoft wants is to get involved in a political football situation in China.”
In a sign of the sensitivity surrounding the news, Thursday’s announcement was made not by Mr Nadella or LinkedIn’s chief executive, Ryan Roslansky, but by Mohak Shroff, the network’s head of engineering. society.
However, while the shutdown of LinkedIn puts Microsoft out of bad business, it raises questions about the Bing search engine’s prospects. The only major US search engine still operating in China, Bing also censors results. In 2019, it was briefly blocked in the country, even as it continued to push users there to state media accounts on controversial topics like the Dalai Lama.