The Central Cyberspace Affairs Commission (CCAC) and the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau have ordered Maimai (脉脉), a popular professional networking app in China, to remove the anonymous posting section on its platform.
According to a post on the Commission’s official account, the anonymous posting section raises serious concerns including the spreading of rumors, slander, and defamation, along with privacy and other legal rights issues. The Beijing authorities have ordered Maimai to temporarily pull the anonymous posting section, calling for the company to “strengthen its user management capability and conduct a thorough rectification.”
The anonymous section is still unavailable, apparently undergoing “optimization” as of publication time.
Maimai, like most professional social networking apps, is a platform where users can build their professional networks and find employment opportunities. While the app offers recruitment, consulting and training services, it is best known its anonymous posting feature, where users can post work-related content anonymously. Over time it has become a safe haven for users to share industry chatter and office gossip.
This is not the first time that Maimai is on authorities’ radar. Last December, bike rental startup ofo filed an RMB 1 million lawsuit against Maimai over internal corruption allegations, which was first posted on Maimai.
Maimai, regarded as LinkedIn’s biggest rival in China, has the slight upper hand against other western professional networking platforms because it caters to the Chinese market. Maimai describes itself as the “work version of WeChat.”
Last November, the startup secured $750 million in a funding round from US top tech investors DCM Ventures and IDG Capital. the startup is now in planning for an IPO next year, hoping to reach a market value of $10 billion. Founded in 2013, Maimai has over 30 million registered users and 10 million monthly active users.