Linkedin to Enter China, Launch JV with CBC, Sequoia


Linkedin, a social media site for professionals has established a joint venture with Sequoia China and China Broadband Capital Partners (CBC Capital) to expand into the China market.

The site has launched a new simplified Chinese site, with a view to connecting over 140 million Chinese professionals with its 277 million existing members globally, Derek Shen, who was recently appointed as president of Linkedin China, said in his official blog. Shen previously worked as vice president of Chinese social networking site and as CEO of group buying site

"We believe that the experience of our local team, combined with the considerable market expertise of our joint venture partners, position us well to explore our growth options in China."

Linkedin China added local features, such as Sina and Tencent so members can import their Weibo contacts. WeChat users can also link both accounts to share relevant news and insights across both networks.

Linkedin's chief executive Jeff Weiner acknowledged that expanding to China is challenging as the government imposes censorship requirements on internet platform. In this context, company's partners - including Sequoia China and CBC Capital - and Shen will continue to talk to industry expert and policy makers to reassess how it's proceeding in the country.

CBC Capital was founded by Edward Tian, who was former CEO of China Netcom Group, in 2006. nvests primarily in companies in the telecom, media and technology space. It manages two US dollar funds with total assets of more than $500 million, and a renminbi fund of RMB$1.4 billion.

Sequoia raised $200 million for its first China VC fund in 2005 and followed up with a second vehicle, worth $250 million, the next year. Its first growth fund was also raised in 2006, receiving $500 million in commitments. Since 2008, Sequoia has launched several renminbi-denominated funds, most of them collaborations with local governments.