In China, LinkedIn must beat local rivals, win over loser workforce to avoid Google syndrome

–FILE–A netizen browses the Chinese website of professional social networking site LinkedIn in Tianjin, China, 26 February 2014.

After taking a social media drubbing in the West for accepting self-censorship in China, jobs networking site LinkedIn Corp faces bigger obstacles to growth in a market it is counting on – local rivals and a unique workforce mindset. LinkedIn is intent on making the kind of breakthrough in China that eluded Internet giants like Google Inc, Yahoo Inc and Inc. To do that, beyond coping with censorship, it must match big domestic players, already tuned into a generation of self-styled Internet losers with their own, irreverent take on corporate culture. The stakes are high for LinkedIn, which launched in China in February saying it would co-operate with the censorship climate that global social media sites like Facebook Inc and Twitter Inc have shunned. The company said then a localized site would help it reach 140 million professionals in the worlds second-biggest economy – a boon for a company seeking to expand its current audience of 277 million members as it saturates developed markets.

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