In an extended public post (in Chinese), LinkedIn China president Lu Jian has officially bid farewell to the company’s China-only mobile app Chitu, which launched in 2015. The closure was first announced in early June.
Despite acknowledging the failure of Chitu as a blow to LinkedIn China’s case for “100% autonomy” from LinkedIn, the company will not be backing down on rethinking the LinkedIn experience for the China market — a project which Jian is now calling the company’s “China Strategy 2.0.” Moving forward, LinkedIn China will be focusing on online education and career development. The company plans to launch several new products targeting the specific needs of Chinese job-seekers, including a career guide, salary insights, career Q&A sessions, and e-learning facilities.
In March, former LinkedIn China president Derek Shen stated that the professional networking site had “lagged way behind” Tencent’s chat platform WeChat. Jian asserted that Chitu’s failure was not simply a case of a mobile social network failing to compete with a super-platform like WeChat. He noted that, although WeChat has many strong points, he has personally witnessed that it can be “very awkward as a teaching tool”.
“We have also realized that we can’t be a single-handed company in China. LinkedIn China hopes to work with many partners to build a workplace development ecosystem,” Jian added. LinkedIn China announced a strategic partnership with “China’s answer to Netflix,” Iqiyi.com, in May.
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.