Facebook is Coming to China... Sort Of

By Tom Smith, July 25, 2018

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Facebook will be opening an 'innovation hub' in Hangzhou, according to a company spokeswoman.

The hub will open with the aim of supporting “Chinese developers, innovators and start-ups,” and will look to follow the model of similar hubs already open in countries such as France, Brazil, India and Korea, according to CNBC

Reuters reported on Tuesday that a filing approved on China’s National Enterprise Credit Information Publicity System showed that the social media giant had set up a subsidiary registered in the Zhejiang capital on July 18. 

The filing listed Facebook Hongkong Ltd as its only shareholder, and the subsidiary was registered with capital of USD30 million, according to state-run newspaper Global Times.

The news could signal Facebook’s intent to move into the Chinese social media market, which is currently dominated by WeChat and Weibo, but lacks a real counterpart to Facebook, where people register with real names and share life events. 

Despite this, late Tuesday evening highlighted the problems that Facebook and other western social media companies still face in China. The New York Times reported that Facebook’s filing was removed from the Chinese government website, and certain references to the new subsidiary had been censored on Chinese social media. 

Facebook has been banned in China for almost 10 years. This latest news could indicate that it may still be a long time before we see Facebook make a fully operational return to China. 

[Top image via Pexels]

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