LinkedIn said Tuesday that it is making progress in localization in China. It’s taken the brand from a platform connecting global professionals to a one-stop shop for career development with a deeper understanding of professionals.
Jian Lu took over as president of LinkedIn China after the resignation of Derek Shen in 2017. He the company has launched several new products targeting the specific needs of Chinese job-seekers. They include a career guide, salary insights, career Q&A sessions, and e-learning facilities.
Jian pointed out that Chinese job-seekers tend to be self-starters, but need help with career development. LinkedIn China is hoping to become a “one-stop shop” for career development.
One example of what LinkedIn has identified as a China-specific trend is “conversational hiring,” which the company is targeting with another new product. In December, classifieds horizontal and market leader in recruitment 58.com launched a new recruitment chat program called WeiLiao. Job-seekers can search and view open positions, submit applications, text and voice chat with companies’ HR teams. They can share real-time locations and undertake video interviews within the same ecosystem, and through the chat-driven interface.
LinkedIn China’s “salary insights” tool offers salary distribution data and real-time salary reference points for popular jobs to assess their value, assisting professionals to take more objective and informed career decisions.
In March, former president Derek Shen said that the professional networking site has “lagged way behind” Tencent’s chat platform WeChat. He added that he tried to improve the site when he joined the company six years ago but struggled to make progress as it involved so many stakeholders within the organization.
China’s professional networking market is increasingly dominated by domestic companies, particularly among mobile users. According to Beijing-based research firm Sootoo Research (in Chinese), Mai Mai and Liepin Tongdao were the two leading professional social networking apps in China in H1 2018, with 87 million and 18 million downloads, respectively. LinkedIn wasn’t listed in the report, which ranked the top five professional networking apps.
LinkedIn partnered with China Broadband Capital and Sequoia China to launch LinkedIn China in 2014. The joint-venture allowed the social network to operate legitimately on the notoriously insular Chinese internet. It’s grown to around 41 million users in four years.
LinkedIn China drew criticism in January when it blocked the profile of New York-based democracy activist Zhou Fengsuo from being viewed within China.