International professional social networking website – LinkedIn – denied on Wednesday that it was planning open a local office in Pakistan.
LinkedIn refuted the claims of a story filed by the state-owned wire service Associated Press of Pakistan (APP), which quoted the Board of Investment (BOI) Chairman Saleem Mandviwalla saying that Linkedin was planning to establish its offices in Pakistan and invest $10 million by the end of 2012 or the beginning of 2013.
“While we are exploring some commercial opportunities in Pakistan, we currently have no plans to open a local office,” LinkedIn spokesperson Darain Faraz told The Express Tribune.
While the firm that handles global public relations activities for the professional networking website, Edelman also denied the head of the BOI’s claims, saying that Linkedin’s plans are stated inaccurately in the APP story.
However, Mandviwalla reaffirmed his earlier statement about the arrival of LinkedIn in Pakistan. “I strongly disagree with the view that LinkedIn is not going to establish its offices in Pakistan,” Mandviwalla said while speaking to The Express Tribune.
“Maybe the LinkedIn management did not want to make the news public as yet. But it does not mean it is not coming to Pakistan,” he added.
Mandviwalla also claimed that LinkedIn had issued an official statement announcing its plan to open its office in Pakistan. However, the section titled ‘Press releases’ on the LinkedIn website showed no such statement.
In a subsequent SMS, Mandviwalla informed The Express Tribune that the said LinkedIn statement was issued directly to newspapers, and not through the BOI. However, he later said it was possible that LinkedIn might not have issued the statement at all.
LinkedIn has 1.3 million members in Pakistan and 175 million members worldwide.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 27th, 2012.