Sometime yesterday — nobody we’ve spoken to knows when exactly — the Net Nanny pulled the plug off LinkedIn, and access to the professional social network is now no longer possible without the use of a proxy or VPN.
The move is perplexing for a number of reasons — the site isn’t even available in the Chinese language, relatively few Chinese professionals use it, and there is hardly anything politically subversive that we know of on the social network. In fact, don’t people log on to LinkedIn only when they’re out of a job and need to update their resume?
It certainly makes us wonder — maybe China’s decision to block a website is influenced by economic factors as much as it is by political factors. Maybe all they’re trying to do is to provide a space for homegrown professional social networks to grow. You can observe it in just about every category of Internet services: blogs, microblogs, video sharing services and social networks.
Anyhow, the Net Nanny has been known to be fickle so LinkedIn may come back just yet. But for now, we’ll expect to see the first Chinese LinkedIn clones pop up in the next few weeks.
REVEALED: The reason behind LinkedIn’s block
UPDATE: Looks like LinkedIn has been unblocked after barely a day!