Professional networking platform Linkedin has appointed former CCtalk CEO Lu Jian as head of its China operation with immediate effect, our sister site is reporting. He has been tasked with research and business development at the company.

Lu, a graduate of Dartmouth College, has experience at technology companies in the US and China. He has previously worked for Apple and founded a California-based company supplying digital fingerprinting and identification products and services. Before joining Linkedin, he headed up online teaching platform CCtalk and was a partner at Hujiang.

In his new role, he will work directly under Mohik Shroff, Senior Vice President and Head of Global Engineering.

Linkedin China launched in 2014 with limited functionality. Shortly after entering the country, it had amassed four million users. Derek Shen, former VP of Renren, headed the company until the middle of last year when Francis Tsang took over for the interim period.

The company now has close to 40 million users in the country, with more than 1,000 of its customers holding positions in government, technology, finance, communication, and automotive industries.

Linkedin is seen as being one of the most successful foreign technology companies doing business in China but is facing increased competition. Last year, Maimai, the company’s biggest rival raised US$75 million in its Series C round of funding. Maimai, which launched several months before Linked, has been edging closer to its competitor over the years.

Despite its success in China, Linkedin ran into trouble at the end of last year. According to reports, Linkedin blocked its users from posting jobs on the site after failing to comply with newly-imposed government regulations requiring the verification of its users’ identities.

Christopher Udemans is TechNode's former Shanghai-based data and graphics reporter. He covered Chinese artificial intelligence, mobility, cleantech, and cybersecurity.

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