In what the Chinese government terms as a move to keeping its society sane and couth, it has blocked the use of social sites like Facebook and Twitter among many others. Actually, accessing these sites is next to impossible, and if attempted, is punishable by law. This unquestionable move to block out international social sites has however taken a surprising and unexpected twist manifested in the government’s decision to let the citizens access LinkedIn.
Though the reasons as to why China has let its citizen’s access LinkedIn still remains a mystery to many, there are many speculations that in the opinion of many contain all the logic needed to render them tangible.
Many people believe that LinkedIn’s approach to networking people is the only thing that has let it survive China’s strict censorship laws. LinkedIn focuses on professional qualifications and aims at letting employers meet employees without leaving the comfort of their offices. For a nation that is work-oriented like China, this is a gold mine since it will allow its population to network with professionals, both locally and internationally.
Unlike other social sites, LinkedIn did not come up with a simplified site version for China. Due to this, LinkedIn is more of a top-notch forum that will only work for Chinese who can at least construct coherent English sentences. Since English is not the first language is China, the number of people who can comfortably chat and exchange ideas on LinkedIn is effectively reduced to encompass only those who have gone through the pain of learning English for the sake of business.
Since LinkedIn is all about business and professional networking, loose talk and suggestive picture uploading that is rampant on other international social sites is unheard of. If we go by the fact that China’s basic motive in blocking other social site is for the sake of its societal ethical beliefs, then it would be right to conclude that LinkedIn does not have the capacity to breach these unwritten rules. In fact, all that LinkedIn can do is uphold the virtue of hard work and professionalism.
For How Long?
Nonetheless, it is almost impossible to draw a solid conclusion as to why LinkedIn roams freely in China, bearing in mind that in 2010, the Chinese lost access to one of the most powerful search engines in the world, Google. Perhaps, the Chinese government has realized that LinkedIn is the only safe channel through which its professionals can network with the international world. On the other hand, it could just be biding time before shutting down the service.
Apparently, China is confident that a social network that lets professionals meet and discuss job-related issues is not harmful to the society. After all, it is not the best place to plot or start a revolution or spend precious time chatting about celebrities and impossible fantasies.