LinkedIn Corp (NYSE:LNKD) CEO Jeff Weiner spoke with Squawk Box‘s Andrew Ross Sorkin and discussed his prospects in China.
Sorkin opened the segment by mentioning China’s strict internet policies and how the country recently confirmed that they are blocking traffic to some services. For example, people had difficulties accessing Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) services in the country as the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre loomed. State media have also called companies like Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) as threats to the country’s cyber-security.
How is LinkedIn Corp (NYSE:LNKD) doing as they have decided to pursue business in China in contrast to companies like Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) and Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) choosing the opposite? Weiner said that doing business in the country is hard. He noted that his team has spent a significant amount of time thinking about what they want to achieve in the country and what cost and compromises they are willing to make to achieve those goals.
Asked if his biggest concern about doing business in China is that the government could shut LinkedIn Corp (NYSE:LNKD) down completely in the country, Weiner answered that their utmost priority is keeping both their team and members of their site safe.
Sorkin then went on to ask the LinkedIn Corp (NYSE:LNKD) CEO whether he thinks companies like Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) which have pulled out of China at the moment made mistakes in handling their business in the territory. Weiner told the host that while there are a lot of companies that recognize the value they can give people in the country and hence are interested in doing business in the country, some companies just are not in the position to do so. He told Sorkin:
“I think in certain situations, companies are not in the position where they can do business in China for a number of reasons starting with context. The Chinese government may or may not be open to that. By virtue of our focus on creating economic opportunity, we’re in a position where we can make a difference.”
Weiner said that his company has the opportunity but also noted that they have to be thoughtful about how they operate in the country.
Watch the video below.
Investors in LinkedIn Corp (NYSE:LNKD) includes Matrix Capital Management managed by David Goel And Paul Ferri which owned 1.48 million shares in the company as of the end of the first quarter. Rob Citrone’s Discovery Capital Management also owned about 1.06 million shares in the business social networking company by the end of March.