Facebook is preparing to launch a new technological hub in China as the California-based company focuses towards the expansion of its presence in one of the world’s biggest internet market, where its main platform is barred by the Chinese officials.
The social media giant has established a Chinese affiliation to construct a “technological hub” in Zhejiang province, south of Shanghai, for the provision of the start-ups and developers in the country. A Facebook spokesperson informed the Financial Times, “We have long said that we are interested in China, and are spending time understanding and learning more about China in different ways, including how Chinese exporters and developers are using our platform.”
The reason behind barring Facebook
The Chinese Great Firewall censorship regime against Facebook started in 2009 when an outbreak of riot was reported as the separatist activists used the network to communicate. Facebook had made it clear that it would like to re-appear in the Chinese province. It has been trying different routes varying from reportedly seeking offices for its hardware staff to selling ads to Chinese marketer’s eager to reach the international platform.
The spokesperson said, “We are always exploring ways to support developers and innovators around the world.” He further added to the statement that the company has inaugurated similar innovatory hubs in different places including Brazil and France.
As a part of flattery campaign, the Facebook CEO has visited the country, running in the infamous smog of Tiananmen Square, and trying out his Mandarin. Still, Mr. Zuckerberg considered that the company is a “long way away” from entering the country.
In his podcast interview with Recode, he clearly declared that there was no coming together between what the Chinese government requires and the requirements of Facebook. He further justified his statement by adding, “We need to figure out a solution that is in line with our principles and what we want to do, and in line with the laws there, or else it’s not going to happen.”
The only app Facebook-owned app that runs unhindered in China too was blocked at the beginning of September last year. Although its key services being barred under Beijing’s strict censorship laws, Facebook is not alone in the race of US tech group seeking access to the massive Chinese market.
Despite its main search engine being blocked since 2010, it confirmed the news this year that it had launched its third office in Shenzhen, accompanying sites in Shanghai and Beijing.
Known for being the headquarters of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba and many other tech groups, the capital of Zhejiang, Hangzhou will be the center of Facebook’s new hub. But there are subtle indications hinting towards the government’s discomfort with Facebook’s entry in the country.
However, Chinese media uploaded screenshots of the Facebook affiliation’s official registration from the website of China’s National Enterprise Credit Information Publicity System later on Tuesday, it was no longer available on the site by Wednesday morning.