Has Facebook Developed Software to Enter China Market?

By That's, November 23, 2016

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Facebook created special software built to accommodate China's censorship demands, the New York Times reports. The tool was allegedly created to help get the site into China.

According to anonymous sources quoted by the NYTimes, the social network "quietly developed software to suppress posts from appearing in people’s news feeds in specific geographic areas." Facebook has already restricted content in countries like Pakistan, Russia and Turkey.

The popular social network, which has been blocked in China since 2009, did not confirm the existence of the confidential tool. Current and former employees, meanwhile, stressed to the NYTimes that the company often develops pieces of software internally that never see the light of day.

In a statement to the NYTimes, Facebook admitted that it was "spending time understanding and learning more" about the Middle Kingdom and that it hadn't made any decisions regarding the company's China strategy.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has made no secret of his desires to expand into China's 1.4 billion person market. He's made numerous trips to the country over the last few years. He's personally met up with Xi Jinping and is a big fan of his book, The Governance of China. He speaks really, really okay Chinese and has even delivered entire holiday greetings in Mandarin.

Mark Zuckerberg Chinese New Year Greeting

China has also shown signs of softening its attitude towards the social network, with a Beijing court recently siding with Facebook in a trademark case.

[Image via That's by Erik Crouch]

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