LinkedIn launches Chinese language site

LinkedIn (LNKD) is ahead by 2.6% in the premarket after moving forward in China with the opening of a beta Simplified Chinese language site. The company already has 4M Chinese users on its English version, and the Chinese site will broaden reach to 140M Chinese professional workers.

Of course, operating in-country will draw more attention from Beijing's censors, but Wunderlich's Blake Harper thinks LinkedIn "has less to concede than many other western Internet companies, as its core mission and use case for professionals is in line with the government's initiatives for economic growth ... If all goes as planned, the company should see material member growth and engagement on the site throughout the year, but we would expect any impact with corporate customers to be further down the road."

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Comments (5)
  • Durwood Dugger
    , contributor
    Comments (495) | Send Message
    "Simplified Chinese" is not a Chinese language - it is an attempt to make Chinese written characters recognizable by most Chinese. Something the Chinese have been working on for a few thousand years. Even if successful - having a common set of written characters doesn't solve the main problem - a lack of one common Chinese language.


    "When the Mandarin group is taken as one language, as is often done in academic literature, it has more native speakers (nearly a billion) than any other language. However, there are between 7 and 13 main regional groups of Chinese (depending on classification scheme), of which the most spoken, by far, is Mandarin (about 960 million), followed by Wu (80 million), Yue (60 million) and Min (50 million). Most of these groups are mutually unintelligible, although some, like Xiang and the Southwest Mandarin dialects, may share common terms and some degree of intelligibility.Standard Chinese (Putonghua / Guoyu / Huayu) is a standardized form of spoken Chinese based on the Beijing dialect of Mandarin. It is the official language of the People's Republic of China (PRC) and the Republic of China (ROC, also known as Taiwan), as well as one of four official languages of Singapore." (Excerpts from Wikipedia - Chinese language.).


    Only a management group as arrogant and limited as LNKD's would not see the difficulty and potential trap in adapting western HR processes - not only to Chinese language labyrinths, but to China's various internal cultural differences. Think of a professional HR site that has been literally translated by language software program from say German to English, now multiply the errors by a factor of somewhere between 10 and 100.


    As well, if a Chinese LNKD were a doable and attractive opportunity it would appear that the Chinese would have already accomplished it - i.e. Wikipedia - Baidu. Worse, if LNKD has any significant success, a Chinese competitor is sure to spring up and fracture if not take over the market and very likely the gov. would eject LNKD from the Chinese market. Also not unlike Wikipedia's history in China.
    25 Feb 2014, 10:16 AM Reply Like
  • StepUp
    , contributor
    Comments (559) | Send Message
    yeaaaah I am sure the management at LI hasn't thought of any of these things. I bet they didn't even do a demographic study of China before entering the market. Isn't that company just a couple of twenty somethings in a garage hacking together some code? /sarcasm
    25 Feb 2014, 10:25 AM Reply Like
  • Crater123
    , contributor
    Comments (8) | Send Message
    I like your sarcasm, but soon the jokes would be on you. LNKD's management is the most juvenile of all social media sites. FB would soon turn the tables on LNKD with their anytime-can-be-announced professional network. Good luck son!
    25 Feb 2014, 08:33 PM Reply Like
  • StepUp
    , contributor
    Comments (559) | Send Message
    good luck to you as well!
    25 Feb 2014, 11:48 PM Reply Like
  • SocialNow
    , contributor
    Comments (37) | Send Message


    The Chairman is a heavily connected valley veteran and respected investor, the CEO is a 20 year internet veteran, the head of product hails from years at Google...


    Who are these juveniles you speak of?
    27 Feb 2014, 03:17 PM Reply Like
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