Ant Pruitt: LinkedIn Expands Into China, Implications Abound

Professional network, LinkedIn, has reached new heights in expanding its user base. Ant Pruitt comments on this new batch of users on LinkedIn. — Do you have a LinkedIn account? Of course you do. Whether you use it frequently or as just a place to park your resume, LinkedIn is an entrenched service in the West. And now it’s heading east. As in Far East. LinkedIn is growing and it has successfully grabbed a true user base in China.


Image credit: Ant Pruitt

So what if LinkedIn is now in China? Who cares? Well, LinkedIn definitely cares about this expansion. Why? Because it wants more users and eyeballs in its club. Remember: LinkedIn isn’t your average social network filled with animated gifs and random hookups. It’s a site for working professionals and those looking for professional work.

LinkedIn has successfully turned its social platform into a monetized and publicly-traded service in the U.S. Now it’s reaching millions of potential users in China — millions of professional users in China. Think of all the different technical professionals in that country that are collaborating on the next innovative tech device. Think of offering a venue for these professionals to connect with other professionals in a controlled setting such as user groups. This can definitely increase popularity with investors as well as ad producers. More eyeballs. More ads. More clicks.

Yes, the Chinese have stringent Internet government regulations. These regulations were hurdles that many other companies could not overcome. LinkedIn was able to do it because it agreed to have user data stored on servers locally in China and not offshore. It was a small concession for expansion. Both Google and Facebook have tried to fight these battles with China and they both continue to remain on the outside looking in.

Sure I’ve had my concerns with the way LinkedIn presented its profile page once logged in and also its recent lower age requirement, but I have to say this China expansion was a great move on the company’s part. Not that it’s fighting for supremacy against the likes of Facebook and Google, but it definitely has a pretty feather in its hat with this win.


Image credit: Ant Pruitt

I wonder what the next step is for LinkedIn. The company really has to be mindful of its image. How does LinkedIn keep its emphasis on professionals? Whatever the secret sauce is for LinkedIn, it seems to be working.

Based in Charlotte, NC, Ant Pruitt is an IT pro, a columnist and the podcast captain Look for his Smartphone Photographers Community and Yet Another Tech Show. Follow him @ihavnolyfe or on Google+ and email him at See all Ant’s articles on by following this link.

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