Editor’s Note: A Simplified Chinese version of this blog post is available here.

A few moments ago, LinkedIn expanded its presence in China by launching a beta version of our new Simplified Chinese site branded “领英”, to offer a more localized service to our members in China. We also established a joint venture with Sequoia China and CBC to explore expanding our business here. Through this site, we hope to connect over 140 million Chinese professionals with each other and with our more than 277 million existing members globally. Our mission is to connect the world’s professionals and create greater economic opportunity – and this is a significant step towards achieving that goal.

While LinkedIn’s English site has been available in China for over a decade and we have more than four million current members here, we are actually in a start-up phase in the country right now. 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.

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Our members in China work at nearly 80,000 leading local and multi-national companies, such as Lenovo, Tencent and Procter & Gamble.  In many ways, LinkedIn has helped, and continues to help, connect its members in China with both local and global employers. For example, Amanda Yan told us LinkedIn opened her eyes to a world of job opportunities. Through LinkedIn, she first landed a job with a multinational financial services company in China. That experience enabled her to move to CCTV where she currently works as a TV anchor on its financial/business program. “To me, LinkedIn is like a mentor. It’s changed my life in a big way, and I am very thankful for that,” Amanda said.

Another member, Majdi Alhmah, was honored to receive the 2013 China Friendship Award, the country’s highest recognition for foreign nationals who have made outstanding contributions to China’s economic progress, from Vice Premier Ma Kai. Majdi told us the award recognized his efforts at facilitating, via LinkedIn, the employment of foreign experts and local professionals in China.

Success stories like these remind us of how our members all over the world use LinkedIn every day to build their professional identities and careers and to create economic opportunities. They also drove us to find new ways to connect China’s professionals, who represent about 20 percent of all knowledge workers in the world, with our global member network.

We know many professionals in China and other parts of the world prefer to communicate in their native language, particularly in a business context, and so we are excited to introduce a beta version of LinkedIn in Simplified Chinese. This will make our services localized to more members in China, so they too can leverage LinkedIn to further enhance their economic circumstances. Simplified Chinese is now one of the 22 languages we are proud to support around the world.

The launch of this beta version of LinkedIn in Simplified Chinese is part of our commitment to create locally relevant products so professionals can get even more value from LinkedIn. For example, we added local features, such as integrating Sina and Tencent into our platform so members can easily import their Weibo contacts, invite other professionals to join their networks and reach a broader audience with their status updates. Our members who have WeChat accounts can link both accounts, so that they can more rapidly broaden their professional reach and share relevant news and insights across both networks.

If you are already a LinkedIn member, you can broaden your LinkedIn network by sending invitations to your professional contacts individually or more widely by importing your address book onto the LinkedIn platform. By clicking on this link, you can easily switch your LinkedIn language settings to Simplified Chinese. After the change, you may notice a difference in your experience because we are in the very early stages of building our Simplified Chinese site, so some features such as “Groups” are not yet available. Consistent with our “members first” approach, we would like to get your feedback about this version so we can keep evolving the site by introducing more features.

As we do everywhere in the world, expanding our presence in markets also means a new level of engagement with the relevant government authorities and adherence to local laws. Please click here to learn more about our approach in China from LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner.

We look forward to welcoming more members in China, which will enable us to better showcase the talent and companies thriving in China to the world – and vice versa. Ultimately, we hope to create economic opportunities for every professional in the world, including matching talented individuals with job and business prospects.