Microsoft’s LinkedIn removes comments critical of Chinese Communist Party to curry favor with ……

Han Feilong (pictured) has accused Microsoft Corp.’s LinkedIn of freezing his account and deleting content critical of the Chinese Communist regime in what he believes was an attempt to curry favor with Beijing authorities.

A Bloomberg report quoted a former British journalist as saying that Microsoft Corp.’s LinkedIn had frozen his account and deleted content critical of the Communist regime, saying the social networking site faced a series of allegations that it censored users outside of Asian countries to curry favor with Beijing authorities. (By Fang Dehao)

Peter Humphrey, a British corporate investigator and former journalist who logs onto Collage online from his home in Surrey, England, said he received a notification from Collage last month that comments he had posted on the platform had been removed, the report noted. The comments, seen by Bloomberg News, called the Communist authorities a “repressive dictatorship” and criticized the Communist Party’s state-run media outlets as “propaganda mouthpieces.

Han reportedly said that in late April, Collage sent him several notifications that his comments critical of the Communist authorities and state-controlled broadcaster China Global Television Network (CGTN) had been removed on the grounds that they constituted “bullying and harassment” or “spamming and fraud. “On April 26, Han Feilong said he was unable to edit his Linklaters profile.

When Han tried to log in, he said he encountered a message saying his profile was “restricted” because “his behavior appears to be in violation of our terms of service.

After Bloomberg News contacted Collage last week for comment, the company reinstated Han’s account and restored some of his comments, including those listed above. But other comments were not available. “Our team reviewed the earlier action under our appeals process and found it to be a mistake,” said Leonna Spilman, a spokeswoman for Collage. Spilman declined to comment further on Han Feilong’s account.

The Chinese government’s foreign ministry did not respond to a request for comment.

Microsoft Corp.’s Collage entered the Chinese market in early 2014. It remains the only U.S. social media network allowed to operate in China, but it abides by restrictions imposed by Communist authorities on certain content for Chinese users. The company did not say what content it restricts.

Separately, the report also cited a non-China-based employee of human rights group Human Rights Watch who said her account was suspended from the Chinese version of the site in February for “prohibited content. In a message to the woman, Linking said, “While we strongly support freedom of expression, we recognized at launch that we needed to comply with the requirements of the Chinese Communist Party authorities in order to operate in China.”

It is noted that Linking informed the Human Rights Watch employee that her profile could be restored if she deleted certain messages from her profile, but did not specify what content needed to be deleted. The employee’s profile included references to work involving Chinese dissidents and the media. The employee requested anonymity and that her location not be disclosed to prevent retaliation.

Spielman, a spokeswoman for Collingwood, defended the company’s decision to review the personal data of Human Rights Watch employees in China.

“Our team has reviewed the profile and we are upholding the original decision in accordance with our professional community policy,” Spielman said. “We are a global platform and have an obligation to respect the laws that apply to us, including compliance with the Chinese Communist authorities’ regulations for our localized version of Collage in China.”