• Follow us

Social Media

LinkedIn to shutter Chitu, its Chinese-language app, in July, redirects users to LinkedIn in Chinese – TechCrunch

LinkedIn has long eyed China as an important country to offset slowing growth in more mature markets. But now it’s calling time on a localized effort after failing to see it pick up steam. The company has announced that it will be shutting down Chitu — a Chinese-only app it had built targeting younger people and those who had less of a need to network with people outside of the country — at the end of July.

The closure is notable for a couple of reasons.

First, it marks a retreat of sorts for LinkedIn in the country from building standalone apps to target younger users, and specifically those targeting young professionals, at the same time that LinkedIn also faces stiff competition from other services like Maimai and Zhaopin.

Second, Chitu was a rare (and possibly the only) example of an app from LinkedIn built specifically to target one non-English market — and a very big one at that — by building a social graph independent of LinkedIn’s. Chitu’s shutdown is therefore a sign of how LinkedIn ultimately didn’t succeed in that effort.

The company posted an announcement of the change in Chinese on Chitu’s website, and a spokesperson for LinkedIn confirmed the changes further in a statement provided to TechCrunch, where it described Chitu — which has been around since 2015 — as “one of many experiments.”

It also noted that it will be upgrading the LinkedIn core app as a “one-stop shop,” incorporating some of Chitu’s features, presumably in an effort to attract Chitu’s users rather than lose them altogether.

“Chitu will officially go offline at the end of July 2019,” the company noted in the statement. “In the future, we will focus on the continuous optimization and upgrade of the LinkedIn app, serving as a one-stop shop to accompany Chinese professionals along each step of their career development and connect to more opportunities.” We’ll post the full statement LinkedIn sent us at the bottom of this article.

LinkedIn first officially set up shop in China back in 2014 as “领英”. Its branding firm pointed out at the time that the characters’ pronunciation, “ling ying,” sounding a bit like “LinkedIn” and loosely meant “to lead elites.” It was initially established as a joint venture with Sequoia and CBC as it was still an independent company and not owned by Microsoft at the time.

LinkedIn already had users in the country at that point — some 4 million individuals and 80,000 companies were already using the English-language version of the site at the time — but the idea was to set up a local operation to seize the opportunity of creating services more tailored to the world’s biggest mobile market, which would include local language support, and to meet the regulatory demands of needing to establish local operations to do that. It included efforts to build integrations with other sites like WeChat, as well as bigger partnerships with the likes of Didi.

A year later, Derek Shen, the LinkedIn executive who led the launch of LinkedIn China, spearheaded the launch of Chitu.

The idea was to build a new app that could tap into the smartphone craze that had swept the country, in particular among younger users who had foregone using computers in favor of their hand-held devices that they used to regularly check in on apps like WeChat.

“In the past year, we have done a lot of localization efforts and achieved great results, such as deep integration with WeChat, Weibo, QQ mailbox, and Alibaba,” he wrote in an essay at the time (originally in Chinese).

“However, in general, we are still maintaining a global platform that is not evolving fast enough, and localization is not determined. We believe that only a product that is independent of the global platform can fully meet the unique needs of social networking in China, so that we can really run like a startup.”

LinkedIn would at the same time continue to build out the Chinese version of LinkedIn itself, targeting older and more premium users who might be interacting with people in other languages, like English.

From what we understand, Chitu had a good start, with millions of users signing up in the early years, beating LinkedIn itself on user retention rates and engagement.

But a source says that internally it faced some issues for trying to develop an ecosystem independent of the LinkedIn platform, which only became more challenging after Microsoft acquired the company, the source said. (He didn’t say why, but for starters it would have been more lucrative to monetise a single user base, and develop new features for a single platform, rather than do either across multiple apps.)

“After Microsoft acquired LinkedIn, independence became unthinkable,” the source said. “People with entrepreneurial DNA have all left, so it’s natural to shut down Chitu at this point.” It didn’t help that Shen himself left the company in 2017.

It’s unclear how many users Chitu ultimately picked up, but LinkedIn says that it has 47 million LinkedIn members in China, out of a total of 610 million globally. Notably, observers point out that its two big rivals Maimai and Zhaopin are both growing faster.

More generally, and likely to better compete against local players, LinkedIn tells us that it rebooted its growth strategy in the country last month. That new strategy appears to be based fundamentally on any new services or partnerships now stemming from one centralised platform.

“2.0 [as the new strategic effort is called] is built on LinkedIn’s vast global network of professionals with real identities and profiles as the foundation and providing a one-stop-shop services to our members and constructing an ecosystem in China,” a spokesperson said in response to a question we had about whether the company will continue to build out more partnerships with third parties. “We do not exclude any partners who participate in building this ‘one-stop-shop’ and eventually construct a powerful ecosystem.” 

Here is the full statement on the shut-down of Chitu:

China is core to LinkedIn’s mission and vision globally – creating economic opportunity to every member of the global workforce. Since entering China in 2014, LinkedIn has explored its development path within the Chinese market, adjusting short-term strategies according to changes in the market environment. This includes Chitu, which launched in 2015, to help LinkedIn expand the social network market through the mobile app.

Chitu is one of many experiments we conducted to continue to learn and provide more value to members. Other efforts include WeChat integration, Sesame Credit partnership etc. Based on user feedback and data analysis, we find that Chinese professionals are proactively seeking for career development opportunities. We incorporate many learnings and insights from Chitu into our new offerings on LinkedIn app that we believe will cover different needs and stages in professional and career development.

Chitu will officially go offline at the end of July 2019, following the completion of its historical mission. In the future, we will focus on the continuous optimization and upgrade of the LinkedIn app, serving as a one-stop shop to accompany Chinese professionals along each step of their career development and connect to more opportunities.

Read More



Leave A Comment

More News

TechCrunch » Social

Daily Crunch: Facebook’s cryptocurrency is coming 2019-06-07 12:59:08The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox ever

The Ticket Fairy is tech’s best hope against 2019-06-06 17:45:41Ticketmaster’s dominance has led to big service fees, scalpers galore and exclusive contracts that some people argue exploit venues and artists.

Instagram one-ups TikTok with karaoke lyrics 2019-06-06 14:01:53Lip-syncing jumpstarted TikTok’s rise to the center of teen culture, arguably displacing Instagram . Now the Facebook-owned app is striking back

Twitter’s updated T&Cs look clearer — yet it 2019-06-06 13:20:51Twitter has taken a pair of shears to its user rules, shaving almost 2,000 words off of its T&Cs — with the stated aim of making it clearer

Facebook plans June 18th cryptocurrency debut. Here’s what 2019-06-06 13:03:48Facebook is finally ready to reveal details about its cryptocurrency codenamed Libra. It’s currently scheduled for a June 18th release of a whit

In trying to clear ‘confusion’ over anti-harassment policy, 2019-06-06 01:19:49After a series of tweets that made it seem as if YouTube was contradicting its own anti-harassment policies, the video platform published a blog post

YouTube will let bigot monetize if he removes 2019-06-05 16:14:33YouTube has made the weakest, least courageous response to mass backlash regarding its ruling yesterday that right-wing personality Steven Crowder&rsq

LinkedIn to shutter Chitu, its Chinese-language app, in 2019-06-05 10:40:14LinkedIn has long eyed China as an important country to offset slowing growth in more mature markets. But now it’s calling time on a localized e

AntiToxin sells safetytech to clean up poisoned platforms 2019-06-05 08:05:51The big social networks and video games have failed to prioritize user well-being over their own growth. As a result, society is losing the battle aga

Tinder adds sexual orientation and gender identity to 2019-06-04 11:01:03Tinder is adding to its profiles information about sexual orientation and gender identity. The company worked with the LGBTQ advocacy organization GLA

Facebook can be told to cast a wider 2019-06-04 07:42:37How much of an obligation should social media platforms be under to hunt down illegal content? An influential advisor to Europe’s top court has

Apple attacks Facebook by becoming the asocial network 2019-06-03 19:58:11Sharing with everyone is passé and more than a little bit scary these days. We want to send photos to friends without posting them publicly. We

Mashable

PlayStation 4 Pro, Echo Dot, Fire Tablet, Blink 2019-06-11 05:00:32E3 officially starts today. We will be keeping our eye out for the hottest new game releases. Be ready for the latest games by getting yourself a bran

iTunes may be dead, but this $20 app 2019-06-11 05:00:00TL;DR: Keep all your data organized using iMazing 2, a possible iTunes replacement that works on both Mac and Windows and is on sale for just $19.99.

Bundle a soundbar with Samsung's 'The Frame' 4K 2019-06-11 05:00:00TL;DR: The PCMag Shop has the beautiful Samsung Frame TV and HW-NW700 three-channel soundbar on sale: Save $1,199 on the 55-inch model or $1,299 on th

Save over 50% on this air fryer from 2019-06-11 05:00:00TL;DR: This calorie-cutting Wolfgang Puck air fryer is a healthier way to make your favorite fried snacks, and you can save over 50% when you buy it i

'Big Little Lies' star Shailene Woodley does the 2019-06-11 04:56:31 Be honest, Meryl Streep's Emmy-deserving scream in the new Big Little Lies made you want to fill your lungs with air and let out an almighty shrie

Apple may just have accidentally announced the month 2019-06-11 04:17:33Oops. Apple may have inadvertently announced a more precise launch time frame for its upcoming desktop powerhouse, the new Mac Pro.  As noted by

Stephen Colbert calls BS on Trump's 'new' tariff 2019-06-11 04:02:27 Everything old is new again, as The Late Show host Stephen Colbert pointed out on Monday. Donald Trump tweeted on Friday and Saturday that a "new

Jimmy Kimmel plays the MCU's most gullible dry 2019-06-11 01:04:45 Jimmy Kimmel takes Tom Holland to the (dry) cleaners in Spider-Man: Far From Home. Well, not really. But for fun, the late night show host invited

YouTube CEO apologizes, but defends decision on hate 2019-06-10 23:51:57YouTube's CEO has apologized to the LGBTQ community, but ultimately stood by the decision to keep a creator accused of hate speech on the platform. A

'Marvel's Avengers' gets action-packed first trailer from Square 2019-06-10 22:25:23 Post-Endgame, Marvel's Avengers are back — this time, in the world of gaming. During the Square Enix E3 press conference on Monday night, Ma

Photos of travelers who entered and exited the 2019-06-10 22:00:23Photos of travelers collected by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have been compromised in a data breach, the agency revealed on Monday. The b

'Final Fantasy VII Remake' footage blew everybody away 2019-06-10 21:50:40The world got its first extended look at Final Fantasy VII Remake during Square Enix's E3 press conference on Monday and it impressed absolutely ever

The Next Web

Why Your Workplace Sucks at Internal Communication 2019-06-11 04:02:43Internal communication seem to be this mystical concept that means very different things to everyone. For a PR nerd, it is a silver bullet that helps

Bollywood icon Amitabh Bachchan’s Twitter account allegedly hacked 2019-06-11 03:57:57Last night, a group of Turkish hackers took over Bollywood actor and Indian cultural icon Amitabh Bachchan‘s Twitter account, and posted tweets

What is a knowledge graph and how does 2019-06-11 03:40:14Even though it probably affects our lives every single day, most of us have no idea what a “knowledge graph” is. Asking your favorite voic

Robots reviewed my resume and they were not 2019-06-11 03:37:40According to my — not super scientific — calculations, LinkedIn users have a median average of 630 connections. But I only have 106. Unsur

Why Gary Vaynerchuk thinks privacy is dead and 2019-06-11 03:06:47The answers to almost any question that pops into our head can be answered by simply “Googling it.” As a result of our insatiable desire f

Hackers steal 100,000 traveler photos from border patrol 2019-06-11 02:29:13US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials on Monday said that one of its subcontractors had been breached in a “malicious cyberattack,&rd

Sony’s already won the next console war thanks 2019-06-10 19:55:23Sony skipped gaming’s biggest event, E3, this year and Microsoft pounced. Xbox stormed the stage with a veritable bevvy of announcements about&n

How to mute noisy conversations (and accounts) on 2019-06-10 19:24:10Welcome to TNW Basics, a collection of tips, guides, and advice on how to easily get the most out of your gadgets, apps, and other stuff. Smartph

Ubisoft announces its own game streaming service, Uplay+ 2019-06-10 19:06:04Ubisoft found a comfy seat on the top of the bandwagon, because it’s launched its own streaming service, called Uplay+. By itself, this wouldn&r

Sweetwater Studios began in a van, now it’s 2019-06-10 16:06:15Some of the richest companies have the humblest beginnings. Google and Facebook started in dorms, Microsoft was launched from a garage, and Sweetwater

Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition arrives in 2019-06-10 09:11:32RTS fans rejoice! Microsoft showed off a new trailer for Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition at its E3 keynote, and announced that it’ll arriv

Corporate innovation isn’t dead, it just needs an 2019-06-10 09:00:09In-house innovation labs have gotten a bad rap as of late. Whether their primary area of focus is retail, consumer packaged goods, or technology, labs

Entrepreneur

How to Determine How Much to Charge for 2019-06-10 12:00:00Setting the right price point can make or break your business.

How to Overcome the Challenges and Reap the 2019-06-10 11:30:00Uber, Amazon and Airbnb are all two-sided marketplaces. Is this model for you?

5 Ways to Make Money While You Sleep 2019-06-10 11:15:00Earn cash while catching Zs.

How to Get a Job at Apple 2019-06-10 11:00:00Real employees and interviewees reveal how they got an interview, what the process entailed, and what it's like to be an employee.

The Secret to Setting Successful Long-Term Business Goals 2019-06-10 10:30:00To truly achieve your goals, try following what Brian Tracy dubs the "GOSPA" method.

Meet the Miller Lite Cantroller, a Gamepad That's 2019-06-10 10:05:31It's a beer can, it's a game controller, it's a very strange piece of promotional material.

Mazda Will Offer an EV in 2020 2019-06-10 09:59:25You can also expect plug-in hybrids by 2022.

Commute Easy With These True Wireless Earbuds 2019-06-10 09:30:00The PaMu Scroll Earbuds & Case are a stylish addition to your workday.

'One Email From Whole Foods Launched My Entire 2019-06-10 09:00:00Former restaurateur Vanessa Phillips pursued her dream of reaching people in their homes with the founding of Feel Good Foods.

Becoming a Successful Entrepreneur Takes Patience and Persistence. 2019-06-10 08:30:00The founder of Yumi discusses the learning curve and joys of running a business.

Iconic Harborside Dispensary Is Going Public 2019-06-10 08:00:00But founder and cannabis advocate Steve DeAngelo is a little disappointed it has to be in Canada.

4 Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make When Building an MVP 2019-06-10 08:00:00Every entrepreneur gets personally attached to his or her product. Only some of them, though, see how dangerous that is.


Disclaimer and Notice:WorldProNews.com is not responsible of these news or any information published on this website.