LinkedIn formally enters the Chinese market while respecting censorship laws

After exploring the market for years, LinkedIn is formally entering China with a new beta site that will adhere to the nation’s strict rules on online censorship. The new Chinese language site, called Lingying, launched on Monday and hopes to tap over 140 million professionals living in the country, LinkedIn said in a company blog post. The professional social networking site has been eyeing the Chinese market, where it already has four million members. But until Monday LinkedIn had largely been an English-language site to users in the country.

LinkedIn is pushing full-strength into China, with a new, Chinese-language service that hopes to attract as many of the country’s 140 million professionals as possible. Unlike other U.S. Internet companies — which have battled Chinese content restrictions — LinkedIn is hoping it can strike a truce with the censors. It’s easy to see why LinkedIn is excited about China. The Mountain View, Calif., social network for professionals has been relying lately on emerging markets to help its growth. LinkedIn now has 277 million members world-wide, of which 24 million are in India and another 16 million in Brazil. In China, where LinkedIn operates with a bare-bones, English-language-only service, it has a mere 4 million members.

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