LinkedIn is set to lay off over 700 employees and discontinue its Chinese version, InCareer, as the company navigates a difficult economic landscape and competitive market.
CEO Ryan Roslansky informed employees on Monday that due to shifts in customer behavior and slower revenue growth, the company will implement layoffs affecting less than 4% of its nearly 20,000-strong workforce, Daily Wire reported.
Acquired by Microsoft seven years ago, LinkedIn is preparing for an ongoing challenging macro environment by adapting its operations and investing in strategic growth areas.
“We’re expecting the macro environment to remain challenging. We’re adapting as we have done this year and will continue to operate with the ambition we need to deliver on our vision and the pragmatism required to run the business well,” Roslansky said. “We will continue to manage our expenses as we invest in strategic growth areas, knowing that the foundations we are putting in place now for innovation, agility and scale are setting us up for the years ahead.”
InCareer, a Chinese version of the career platform, will be phased out by the end of the summer. Despite having 57 million members in China and contributing to LinkedIn's 875 million members worldwide, the platform has faced fierce competition and a challenging macroeconomic climate. LinkedIn will retain employees in its talent, marketing, and learning business units in China.
Foreign technology companies have long viewed China as an attractive market for expansion. However, they face pressures from the Chinese Communist Party to share user data and comply with censorship operations. Moreover, China's economy has been hit hard by aggressive lockdown measures and increased trade tensions with the United States.
Other major technology companies, including Microsoft, Google, and Amazon, have also announced plans to reduce their payrolls, with over 139,000 workers being dismissed from prominent tech firms in the first months of 2023. Investors have cited inflated payrolls and lower demand as key factors behind disappointing profits.
Roslansky mentioned the rise of generative artificial intelligence (AI) solutions in his message, highlighting their potential to reshape the job market. Goldman Sachs estimates that AI could eliminate 7% of current jobs in the United States, primarily in white-collar sectors. Tech firms have identified AI as a potential driver for growth, with Microsoft investing billions in OpenAI and Google experimenting with its own conversational AI service, Bard. Workplace messaging company Slack also unveiled new AI integrations recently.