Maimai (脉脉): The Closest Thing to LinkedIn in China

Maimai: The Closest Thing to LinkedIn in China

Let’s dive into MaiMai, the giant Chinese networking and jobs platform often compared to LinkedIn! 

In this article, we cover Maimai’s Company History, Service Offerings, Comparisons to LinkedIn, and User Info. 

Maimai Series D Funding Round
Maimai Team Celebrates 'Unicorn Status' After Raising a Series D Round in 2018

Maimai (脉脉): Company History

  • In October 2013, Maimai was officially launched by founders Lin Fan (林帆) and Huang Wei (黄威) in Beijing, China. The firm raises Series A financing from Wuyuan Venture Capital.
  • In August 2014, Maimai raised Series B financing from IDG and Wuyuan Capital (again). This year also saw the company start to focus on professional social media in addition to job services. 
  • In December 2016, just over 3 years after launching, Maimai achieved break-even. 
  • In November 2017, the firm received Series C financing, led by DCM, with IDG Capital and Wuyuan Capital continuing to invest. In addition, China’s leading career platform Zhaopin Recruitment was introduced as a strategic investor.
  • In April 2018, Maimai raised Series D financing from a group including DST, IDG Capital, Wuyuan Capital, and DCM. The round values the company at over $1 billion USD, rendering it a Unicorn.
  • In April 2019, Maimai’s registered users exceeded 80 million. In December of the same year, the ‘Colleague Circle’ function was launched, allowing co-workers a platform to share and discuss their work and companies. 
  • In March 2022, the number of registered users reached 120 million. The ‘Company Review’ model is also launched this year, aiming to provide transparent reviews and feedback from current and former employees. 
Maimai Cartoon Advertisement
Maimai Ad: "Use Maimai to Connect with Work Friends"

What Maimai (脉脉) Offers

Maimai’s success can be attributed to its user-friendly interface and a wide array of features tailored nicely to the Chinese job market. Some of its key features include:

Industry-focused Communities:

Maimai operates through industry-based communities where professionals can connect, discuss trends, and build relationships with others in their field.

Anonymous Job Search:

Job seekers can discreetly search for opportunities without revealing their identity, giving them more control over their job search process.

AI-driven Recommendations:

Maimai’s AI algorithms offer personalized job recommendations to users based on their skills, experience, and preferences.

More Than an Online Résumé:

Users can create and showcase a comprehensive online presence and portfolio, ideally allowing employers to discover and connect with potential candidates more effectively.

Talent Sourcing for Employers:

While this is a given, it still needs to be said as it is the primary revenue driver for the platform. Maimai provides companies with a place to source and connect with talent. They aim to make recruitment more efficient for paid company clients.

Integration of AI and Big Data:

Like nearly all of the Unicorn tech companies in the modern age, Maimai has invested heavily in AI and big data technologies to enhance its services. With these technologies, the platform aims to better analyze user behavior and trends, optimize job recommendations, improve employer-candidate matching, and facilitate more efficient networking.

Maimai Founder Lin Fan
Maimai Founder Lin Fan

Comparisons to LinkedIn

Maimai has been bluntly referred to as the LinkedIn of China.

From the beginning, Maimai has often garnered comparison due to its blend of both professional networking and career services into one platform.

By 2014, founder Lin Fan was trying to separate Maimai from the comparison in interviews like this one:


“Do not call us the LinkedIn of China. We position ourselves as ‘WeChat for Work’, WeChat solves personal needs and we solve working needs.”

     -Lin Fan, Founder of Maimai (脉脉)

Interestingly, WeChat DID create a ‘Wechat Work’ product, now called ‘WeCom’, that is similar to Slack. We covered that platform a bit on our list of 10 Chinese Alternatives To LinkedIn

As for LinkedIn and Maimai in the China market, there is a clear winner. Since launching in 2013, Maimai has grown to over 110 million users (over twice that of the former LinkedIn China) and is thriving. LinkedIn China, on the other hand, has closed down operations completely in the country as of 8/2023.

User Snapshot

'Mid-to-high-end Talents'

From Maimai’s Website

The Maimai platform has gathered a large number of ‘mid-to-high-end talents’.

Its users come from many Fortune 500 and China’s Fortune 500 companies, and are mainly urban workplace elites with high education and high income.

It currently covers IT Internet, artificial intelligence, new energy vehicles, chips, biomedicine, auditing, finance, cultural media, real estate, manufacturing, education and training and other industries.”

Industries Covered

Industries Chart

While Maimai covers nearly all industries, it’s focus on ‘mid-to-high-end talents’ does concentrate around a few key ones:

The ‘Internet & Technology’ and ‘Sales & Services’ industries cover 51% of Maimai users.

The ‘Medical & Health’, ‘Automotive’, and ‘Finance & Real Estate’ industries each make up a solid amount of users as well, coming in at 12%, 12%, and 10% of users respectively.

MaiMai - a Wrap Up

Maimai (脉脉) has emerged as a trailblazer in the Chinese HR industry, revolutionizing how professionals connect and employers recruit.

The firm is growing at an outstanding pace, continuing investment in emerging technologies, and has even beaten out its international comparison and competitor, LinkedIn, in the Chinese market.

While Maimai still has many strong competitors in the Chinese job services market, its unique position as both a networking AND jobs platform should continue to provide benefits.

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