LinkedIn hires China chief in plans to tap market

The appointment is one of the biggest indications that the social network is finally ramping up its plans to officially enter the market, which is already crowded with Chinese clones of LinkedIn.

Derek Shen
Derek Shen, former CEO of group-buying site Nuomi, has been hired as LinkedIn's China president. (credit: LinkedIn)

LinkedIn has appointed its first China chief, as it eyes an official launch in the market, according to South China Morning Post.

The professional networking site hired Derek Shen, former CEO of group-buying site Nuomi, as country president. He will be based in Beijing and also carry the title of vice president at LinkedIn , said the report.

"Derek's extensive experience in the China Internet space positions him well to lead our efforts to explore what makes the most sense for LinkedIn, our members and clients in China," LinkedIn spokesperson, Hani Durzy, told MarketWatch.

“Ultimately, we hope to be able to help create economic opportunities for professionals in the country, including matching talented individuals with job and business prospects,” the statement said.

While LinkedIn is the only major global social network unblocked in China, it has yet to officially enter the market and does not have a Chinese language version. Still, the company has chalked up four million members partly through its Chinese mobile app.

Tianji
Tianji is one of many Chinese professional networking sites which LinkedIn will be up against.

The company will be up against a crowd of Chinese clones such as Tianji, Dajie and Ushi. However, these rivals serve mainly the domestic market, and are unlikely to match LinkedIn's advantage in offering Chinese users an opportunity to connect with other global members.

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