What happened: LinkedIn is going to shut down Chitu, its professional social networking app specifically aimed at Chinese market, on July 31. “Chitu was an innovative trial in the Chinese market by LinkedIn, but starting a new business is never easy … It’s regretful that Chitu can no longer accompany you,” the app said in an open letter addressed to users.
Why it’s important: LinkedIn’s China team, headed by then-president of the China business Derek Shen, launched Chitu in July 2015 as fully localized platform for the Chinese market. It was the company’s first attempt at a dual brand strategy, signaling its aspirations for the market. However, it flopped in head-on competition from Chinese professional platforms like Maimai. Shen, who once said Chitu would be the last project he was willing to go all-in for in his career, left the company in 2017. In March, he criticized Linkedin for lagging “way behind” a list of new social networking services such as WeChat in a widely read post.