The Ultimate Guide To The Chinese LinkedIn: Maimai

LinkedIn, the most popular professional networking platform globally, launched a localized version for the China market back in 2014. It had the understanding that it would operate within the tight regulatory controls of the internet within the Great Firewall. While successful for several years, the company announced in October 2021 that they would be closing down the Chinese version of LinkedIn to ensure compliance with local legislation.

Although LinkedIn has continued its commitment to helping recruiters in the Chinese market through InCareer. To communicate with Chinese professionals effectively, international brands would be wise to use Chinese recruitment and networking platforms, such as Maimai (脉脉) and even WeChat. More importantly, great benefits will come your way by building your brand on these local platforms. 


In this AdChina’s blog post, you will find the answers to the following key questions: 

  • What happened to LinkedIn? Is it blocked in China?
  • What can you use instead of LinkedIn in China? 
  • What is Maimai, the Chinese LinkedIn?
  • How to use Maimai? What can it do? 
  • How can Maimai work for your business? 
Source: Maimai

LinkedIn is now InCareer in China

As a substitute for withdrawing from China entirely, LinkedIn has instead developed a dedicated App without the social sharing features of its primary platform. The App is called “InCareer”. And it’s aimed to help professionals in China find new jobs and opportunities. Still, it does not feature a social feed as LinkedIn traditionally does. Want to know more about what’s going on with LinkedIn in China? It’s a must for foreign brands. And Foreign brands also need to be aware of advertising laws and related updates in China. has helped hundreds of brands reach the China market. To see how can help you get started with advertising on top channels hassle-free create a free account today.

What is Maimai?  

Do you know that Maimai dominates China’s professional networking platform space? 

With the current changes happening to LinkedIn, all eyes are on Maimai. It’s not just the biggest China-based career and social-networking platform. It also is the top professional networking platform in China by penetration rate. Unlike other platforms, Maimai requires users to register with legal identification and real name. According to the public data from Maimai, by the end of June 2020, it surpassed 110 million real-name registered users. 

Lin Fan founded Maimai in 2012. The launch of the platform was in 2013. And initially, it was modeled after LinkedIn. Now it has over 29 million monthly active users. What brought its critical triumph is that Maimai works distinctly from other popular career and social-networking platforms like LinkedIn and ZipRecruiter. As a China-born and China-based company, Maimai gained substantial momentum with localized features, such as anonymous chat, mobile-friendly design, real-name registration, and partnerships with major Chinese corporations.

The Top 8 Professional Networking Platforms in China by Penetration Rate (2018)

LinkedIn vs. Maimai

LinkedIn is an American business and the most influential professional networking platform. It was founded in 2002 and now has almost 810 million members worldwide in more than 200 countries and territories. And it has over 54 million users in China. In October 2021, LinkedIn announced that they are launching a new App to comply with the Chinese censorship regulations. As a result, the new App — InCareer, no longer has social networking functions. So, it’s right to say it’s time for international companies to find alternatives that can work locally in the Chinese market. 

Different from LinkedIn, Maimai is a China-born and China-based company. On top of being the number one professional networking platform in China and its massive user base, it focuses on excelling in localized features to suit Chinese users. 

The Secrets to Success of Maimai 

Being a China-born and China-based professional networking platform, Maimai knows its users conscientiously. With China’s unique networking and people-based culture, the platform has developed dedicated features to cater to its users’ habits and needs. 

Anonymous social networking is critical to its success

Maimai’s anonymous social networking function provides a safe environment for its users to be themselves and say what they want to say about the companies that they work for. Often, professionals are dealing with high-pressured working circumstances in China. Maimai is where China’s exhausted workers can ask questions, share gossip, vent, and seek new job opportunities without worries. Anonymous social networking, job hunting, and networking are what Chinese users are after. 

Deep understanding of the Chinese workplace culture

Dissimilar from western countries, professional networking and social networking are relatively separated. In China, it’s often a mixture of both. Guanxi is a Chinese term meaning relationships. It applies to both professional and private settings. It is commonly referred to as networks or connections used to open doors or new opportunities in business. Generally speaking, a person with more guanxi will be better positioned to generate business. And can be in a more favorable position when finding new jobs than someone who lacks it. On Maimai, the trending topics cover the demands for both professional networking and social networking. So, this function encourages the users to interact and engage further with one another. 

Localized features to suit the Chinese users 

Maimai is devoted to supplying its massive Chinese users with localized features on the platform. Besides the anonymous social networking function, it’s designed to be mobile-friendly so that its users can access it easily. Maimai’s real-name registration and partnerships with Chinese corporations also prompt the users to seek jobs and recommend people from their network for opportunities in the companies they work at. 

What can Maimai do?

First, you need to register on Maimai with your legal identification and real name.  There is a central wall where users can post professional and other content on the account. 

Second, one of the most important functions is the search function. And it’s in 6 categories: people, positions, anonymous Q&A, trending topics, industry headlines, and real name stories.

Third, Maimai, similar to LinkedIn, is a platform free to register and use. However, there are some paid options. A VIP account starts with 68 CNY per month, and there are also advertising opportunities.

One of the limitations of Maimai is that you have to pay a fee to access the search results. For regular accounts, you can make ten connections per month. And for VIP accounts, you can make forty per month. Of course, you can pay more to connect with more people. Some say that this is an excellent way to ensure the quality of the connections. 

Last but not least, Maimai helps its users discover new friends and make new connections by analyzing their contacts and their Chinese social media postings. The platform provides:

  • A dynamic shared workplace
  • A network of recruitment
  • Workplace discussion anonymous function
  • Helping users manage the workplace and expand their network of contacts efficiently 

Who is on Maimai? 

On Maimai, 60.94% of the users are male. And 39.06% are females. The noticeable imbalance of gender is due to the heavy usage of employees from tech companies in China on the platform. 

Maimai provides a forum where collective anonymity gives users a sense of security. It has become one of the few places online for many people working in China’s booming but exhausting tech industry to express their voice. The result has been a vibrant community, mainly comprising tech insiders. Daily gossip runs wild about which company has unbearable office environments and which product is on the edge of being terminated.

It’s probably fair to say that no Chinese tech company is spared on Maimai. Huawei is nicknamed the “jail factory” for a controversial 2019 case in which police unjustly detained an ex-employee for “blackmailing the company”; the eCommerce rising star Pinduoduo gets the name “poop factory” because its headquarter does not have enough public restrooms for its employees. 

The protection granted by anonymity makes Maimai a paradise for genuine reviews, sensitive leaks, workplace complaints, salary transparency, and disinformation.

Why do marketing on Maimai

  • There are more than 110 million users on MaiMai!
  • When it comes to the Chinese market, it is always better to use local platforms where you can make the proper connection for your company.
  • Maimai is one of the most used platforms in China daily, but your competitors aren’t aware of it yet! This is your chance to shine! 
  • The corporate structure in China is often complicated. Therefore it is more convenient to connect directly with the company’s decision-makers. 
  • Using Maimai, you can access to relevant companies and clients without wasting valuable time finding the right partners through other platforms.

AdChina is your best partner for the Chinese market 

We know that navigating through a local Chinese platform like Maimai might not be as easy as it sounds, but you have AdChina to help you! Our local experts and experienced operations team can provide your business with a tailored plan.

We’ll help you plan, launch, optimize, and scale your campaigns across each of the biggest channels in China — all with just one tool!

Visit our website and find out more. Please create a free account or contact our friendly sales team. Or purchase a service from our marketplace to get started today! 

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