New LinkedIn signups in China were unexpectedly put on pause last week.Credit: Open Grid Scheduler / Grid Engine Beginning last week, any professional in China trying to create a new LinkedIn account ran into an unwelcome surprise. LinkedIn, one of the few American social media platforms available in the country, froze all new sign-ups, preventing the company from expanding its huge Chinese user base of 52 million. In a cryptic statement that produced a flurry of speculation, LinkedIn said it was temporarily pausing new sign ups while working “to ensure we remain in compliance with local law.” The company, a unit of Microsoft, did not specify what regulation was at issue. The announcement was a setback for LinkedIn, which operates in China under an agreement that requires the company to play by the local rules — meaning, among other things, censoring posts the Chinese government deems politically sensitive. But now, LinkedIn is apparently being punished by Chinese internet regulators for not being aggressive enough in censoring those posts, according to a report publiSubscribe or login to read the rest. Subscribers get full access to: Exclusive longform investigative journalism, Q&As, news and analysis, and data on Chinese business elites and corporations. We publish China scoops you won't find anywhere else. A weekly curated reading list on China from David Barboza, Pulitzer Prize-winning former Shanghai correspondent for The New York Times. A daily roundup of China finance, business and economics headlines. We offer discounts for groups, institutions and students. Go to our Subscriptions page for details.